By Alex Trelinski • 14 April 2020 • 14:38
REPORTS in UK newspapers are suggesting that the government missed out on three chances to be part of a European Union scheme to bulk-buy personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.
The Guardian and other British media outlets have said that the UK government failed to get crucial items like masks, gowns, and gloves which were available to them.
The issue of PPE for NHS workers has become a major talking point during the Covid-19 outbreak, with ministers continuing to say that everything will be alright, whilst reports around the country in some hospitals suggest something to the contrary.
Meanwhile, European medical staff are set to receive the first of £1.3 billion-worth of PPE within days or a maximum of two weeks under the EU scheme involving 25 countries.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are working round the clock with industry, the NHS, social care providers and the Army to ensure the supply of PPE over the coming weeks and months and will give our NHS and the social care sector everything they need to tackle this pandemic – including working with countries around the globe.
“We are also working with a number of firms to scale up production of existing UK ventilator manufacturers, as well as designing and manufacturing new products from scratch, and procuring thousands more machines from overseas.
“We will continue to work with European countries and others in order to make sure that we can increase the capacity within the NHS, and we will consider participating in future EU joint procurement schemes on the basis of public health requirements at the time.”
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