Health and social care workers treating Covid-19 patients will have access to an uninterrupted supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) over the winter period, the government has pledged.
Covid-related PPE will be provided in full until at least March 2021, the government says in its PPE Strategy, published on September 28. A decision on the future procurement model will be made next year.
A four-month stockpile of face masks, visors and gowns will be in place from November to provide a continuous flow to the frontline, thanks in part to a huge increase in the domestic production of PPE.
It is anticipated that 70 per cent of the expected demand will be met by UK manufacturers by December. Before the pandemic only 1 per cent of PPE was produced in the UK.
Free PPE will be provided to support care homes as part of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan.
Alongside the Covid-19 stockpile, the government is considering stockpile requirements for other types of pandemic threat. A review is underway to determine the nature, composition and volume of a future pandemic stockpile.