Supporting frontline NHS Colleagues, over a billion items of Personal Protective Equipment delivered

28 April 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak we have been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to supply and deliver products into the NHS.

Since 25 February 2020, over a billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been delivered to Acute, Community, Mental Health and Ambulance trusts as well as to GPs and Social Care through the national logistics effort. This equates to over 11,000 items of PPE delivered to the NHS every minute.

This includes:

  • 144 million masks
  • 163 million aprons.

This has been achieved in addition to our business as usual deliveries via our usual delivery service operated by Unipart Logistics and through a new dedicated PPE supply channel supported by Clipper Logistics.

The extraordinary efforts by our teams in responding to unprecedented volume demand from the NHS has been a testament to the strength and depth of NHS Supply ChainJin Sahota, CEO, NHS Supply Chain
NHS Supply Chain have done an amazing job. The team have been working incredibly hard … and I pay tribute to them and I think that they deserve our thanks in getting PPE out to everyone.Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, Commons Health Committee

Other ways we are supporting the response to COVID-19

PPE Dedicated Supply Channel
Given the extraordinary demand for PPE products from Acute, Community, Mental Health and Ambulance trusts, a PPE dedicated supply channel was set up. This supply channel was set up in parallel to the usual NHS Supply Chain to receive PPE and distribute it to trusts.

It operates as part of an end to end PPE supply chain, operated by NHS Supply Chain, NHS England and NHS Improvement, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Social Care, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The logistics uses Clipper Logistical Operations to deliver the service. The channel enables the NHS Supply Chain network, to continue to focus on the supply of all their other Medical Devices and Clinical Consumable items in high demand at this critical time to the NHS.

COVID-19 PPE Sourcing Unit
In response to needing to increase the supply of PPE, the Government created and is now operating a new dedicated PPE Central Procurement Cell, to solely focus on securing supplies of PPE, whilst ensuring that specifications match clinical need. Expert procurement professionals from across the Health System, including from NHS Supply Chain, have been seconded into this dedicated new unit to work with a cross-government team of over 200 staff. The dedicated PPE unit is identifying PPE suppliers from across the globe to meet the increasing demand for a growing list of PPE products.

NHS Nightingale hospital supplies
NHS Supply Chain have been working alongside the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and other organisations to prepare our supply chains for the significant increase in equipment and consumables including ventilators, patient monitors and CT scanners required to build additional capacity for the surge of COVID-19 patients in acute trusts and the new NHS Nightingale Hospitals.

NHS Supply Chain has been instrumental in expanding its operations to support the stand up of NHS Nightingale Hospitals, within a two week period. In total seven NHS Nightingale Hospitals are being set up across the UK including NHS Nightingale London, Birmingham, North West (Manchester), Yorkshire and the Humber (Harrogate), Bristol, North East (Washington) and Exeter.