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NHS: Protective Clothing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 148721, tabled on 3 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2021 Question 128093 on NHS: Protective Clothing, what estimate he has made of the average cost per thousand of individual face coverings purchased for NHS staff since the start of the covid-19 outbreak from suppliers (a) inside the UK and (b) outside the UK where orders were for in excess of 100,000 face coverings.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

10 February 2021

No new contracts were awarded to suppliers by the Department for face coverings or face masks since July 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 placed extreme strain on the global supply chain of personal protective equipment (PPE) and procuring PPE was a significant challenge many countries were posed with. This led to a significant surge in demand in global markets, increased competition and limited supply. These factors resulted in vast increases in the cost of PPE including face masks.

The United Kingdom market for face masks has stabilised since the first peak in 2020 and we have now moved to a stable situation which has equipped us for any further spikes or waves. If we need to procure more face masks for frontline workers, we anticipate this to be at the prevailing price point.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.