Over the last 12 weeks a dedicated team fronted by MoD experts have negotiated contracts for more than 10 billion items of PPE for NHS workers in the battle against Covid-19, say the Government.

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DRS

“Suppliers all over the world”. I get we need to do this initially as there is no manufacturing base here for all products needed but we should build this up and make it home grown. A larger and larger percentage of this need to be UK based as we go out past initial requirements. We will unfortunately need this for years to come even if vaccines come about.

Douglas Newell

Unfortunately Politicians are thick and look only at the bottom line. They don’t seem to understand the benefits of the UK having its own manufacturing capacity: UK workers being paid and paying taxes into the exchequer rather than drawing benefits, or indeed the security of supply benefits when me manufacture here.

Mark B

In the long term we need to have UK based suppliers who can re-task their production lines from whatever they normally produce to providing emergency kit at the drop of a hat should it be needed.

Never again should we be caught napping.

Steve

Who cares where they come from, what matters is we are 4months in and this is being announced now. Ok there could be a second wave and its great they are now have it in hand but seriously this should have happened in december/jan when it was clear there was a problem.

Mark B

If we want guaranteed supplies we must have the capacity to source locally from our own stock piles or be able to quickly start UK production. In an emergency such as a pandemic foreign companies stop producing, favour their own population or the international market. This is what failed. The NHS had limited stock piles. Care homes, dentists etc. had none. The public had none. The assumption was any disruption would only last a short time. Clearly that was wrong. This is the first pandemic in the age of modern medicine and air travel so a disease sweeping across the… Read more »

Steve

Unfortunately this is 2020, mass manufacturing is generally done in Asia. Even if it was a UK firm, chances are they would be still built there.

The concern is that Boris and co will be behind this and yet again place the order with their friends, like the ferries, first wave of masks, etc with firms that have no experience but donate.

Mark B

Steve, you are correct cheap labour makes Asia the place to go for mass produced items. There are however a few things that might change – certainly regarding PPE. 1. We need to design PPE which does not freak out the patients 2. We need better quality PPE which can be disinfected and re-used 3. We cannot keep throwing away or burning plastics 4. Automation will allow us to produce products cheaper than Asia Nothing stays the same. I see you are a little cynical about Boris. Personally I will give him the benefit of the doubt for now. I… Read more »

Steve R

It’s shameful that we have outsourced everything to the point where we are completely reliant on foreign manufacturing for our PPE – among many other things! Yes it makes it all nice and cheap but it also puts us at the mercy of the foreign companies who may be pressured bumy their national governments to prioritise their orders first, leaving us on a waiting list. And also potentially affects quality control. We could order a million masks and they might all be crap, and we don’t know until they arrive. By the time we got sent a million better replacements,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Couldn’t agree more.

Mark B

Steve,

I’m thinking that it should not be beyond the bounds of human imagination to develop some PPE which can be disinfected and re-used. Disposable PPE is neither desirable nor sustainable.

Steve R

Health equipment is probably the worst for being disposable. Everything is use once and throw away.l, to prevent infection.

I’d have thought some things could be kept and sterilised. PPE in some cases could be; masks could be made stronger in order to be able to be put into a hot or boil wash and then reused.

Herodotus

Agreed…you should be able to sanitise and reuse. This is not rocket science…just bloody institutional laziness!

JohnG

Insert witty joke here regarding mod expert contract negotiators…

Herodotus

Yes John…I was about to post about allowing the MOD to source PPE. They couldn’t source vitals for a woodpecker in Sherwood Forest!!!

Daniele Mandelli

😆 For interest H, look up Decider Magazine.

Herodotus

Will do.

Daniele Mandelli

Except I spelt it wrong! Desider.