A new report outlines the dramatic increase in supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Scotland since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that frontline workers are able to access the vital equipment they need.
The Scottish Government, in partnership with the NHS, Scottish Enterprise, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and private companies, has increased both the volume of PPE being manufactured in Scotland and the amount being imported from abroad.
Supplies of visors, gowns, aprons and ventilators have all seen unprecedented increases, and NHS National Services Scotland is now supplying more than 4.6 million surgical masks per week – 50% more than the total for the whole of the previous year.
NSS is also now supplying 11 million medical gloves per week to health boards, an increase of over 120%, and the public and private sectors have collaborated to meet the vastly increased demand for sanitiser – the equivalent of over a decade’s worth of normal supplies in just a few months.
Trade Minister Ivan McKee MSP said:
“We acted quickly and decisively to expand and strengthen PPE supplies in Scotland, ensuring that all frontline health and social care workers have access to the PPE they need.
“We have supported many Scottish businesses to innovate and alter their production processes so they can start making key items like masks, gowns and hand sanitiser, making us less reliant on global supply chains. We also created a dedicated team to secure PPE from abroad that arrived quickly and met our quality standards.
“We are continuing to work hard to provide PPE for both immediate and future needs, with a particular focus on domestic manufacturing to ensure sustainability and self-sufficiency.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“While we have now seen the first day in which no coronavirus deaths were recorded in Scotland – although this may still change as it was over the weekend – the virus is still very much around and able to infect people.
“NHS workers and carers are still caring for many coronavirus patients and we must ensure that they continue to have sufficient high quality PPE supplies to protect themselves, but also their patients.
“Thanks to the ability of Scottish manufacturers to adapt and turn around production quickly, many lives will have been saved.”
Read the report on PPE supplies in Scotland