LONDON – Medical equipment shortage

The government was forced to admit on Sunday (19 April) that there had been further delays to their plans to obtain protective kits for NHS staff and care workers.

Ministers have been repeatedly criticised over the shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) in the NHS, increasing the risks faced by doctors and nurses of contracting the coronavirus. Having repeatedly declined to be part of EU joint procurement programmes for ventilators and PPE, ministers are now reliant on international suppliers, themselves facing high demand for equipment.

Some 400,000 gowns had been expected to arrive from Turkey on Sunday, only for Education Minister Gavin Williamson to tell reporters at the daily media briefing that it had been delayed. Meanwhile, a number of NHS trusts have warned that their hospitals’ intensive care units could run out of gowns and other PPE.

The health service has now advised staff to re-use gowns if stock is running low.

(Benjamin Fox |


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