A national plan has been announced by the government to ensure PPE gets to health and social care workers on the frontline against the coronavirus.
The move comes as care home operators across the country report severe shortages of PPE with stocks being diverted to NHS staff.
The three strand government plan consists of:
a 24/7 military operation to manage supply and demand across the UK;
a new national supply and logistics network to manage supply and demand, and to make sure appropriate PPE reaches those who need it; and
a new website, developed with the help of the military, which is being rolled out in the coming weeks to improve distribution that will enable primary, social, and community care providers in England to order critical PPE.
Additionally, a new hub has been launched to provide easy access to the government’s guidance on PPE in a one-stop-shop people can visit to understand what PPE they need.
The government said it has delivered over 761 million items of PPE to 58,000 different settings, including hospitals, hospices, care homes, home care providers, GPs, pharmacists and dentists. This includes 158 million masks, 135 million aprons and 360 million pairs of gloves.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I will stop at nothing to protect those on the frontline who are fighting this virus. Our heroic health and care staff are working around the clock and my absolute priority is to support them. Our new online ordering tool for PPE is supported by a 24/7 national supply and logistics network.
“There is a herculean effort behind the scenes, supported by the military, to get the right kit to our frontline heroes. These new supply chains, matched with a call to arms for more businesses and organisations to join this national effort, will help save lives.”