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Coronavirus: Protective Clothing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL4718, tabled on 19 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate they will have procured sufficient stocks of personal protection equipment to meet (1) current, and (2) anticipated future, demand.

Answered on

15 June 2020

The Government is working around the clock to ensure we have the personal protective equipment (PPE) we need. Since the start of the outbreak, we have delivered over one billion items of PPE.

We have set up a cross-Government PPE sourcing unit, now staffed by over 400 people, to secure new supply lines from across the world and published rigorous standards against which we will buy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s teams across the world, and in China specifically, have ensured local sources are able to deliver the products required. The Department for International Trade has also stood up a global network to coordinate PPE sourcing.

We have appointed Lord Deighton, formerly Chief Executive of London 2012 Olympics, to lead on our domestic efforts to increase the supply of PPE. The Department is currently in contact with over 350 potential United Kingdom manufacturers. We are also rapidly progressing over 14,500 offers from suppliers and ensuring they meet the safety and quality standards that National Health Service staff need, as well as prioritising offers of larger volumes.

We have contracted with over 100 new suppliers able to deliver at the scale and pace the UK requires.