Every NHS hospital to receive PPE daily from next week, says Matt Hancock
- Credit: PA
Matt Hancock has announced that every NHS hospital will receive a daily delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) from next week.
As it was revealed UK coronavirus deaths had risen by 980 to 8,958, the health secretary said his goal was that “everyone” working in a critical role must get PPE and announced 15 testing drive-through centres had been opened across the UK to enable more testing for frontline staff.
Mr Hancock said there was a “huge international demand” for PPE and a “global squeeze” on supply and unveiled the government’s PPE plan, which has three strands.
Currently, Mr Hancock said every NHS hospital has received a delivery of critical PPE once every 72 hours, and over the next week this was being made daily.
This will be assisted by an online system to be rolled out over the next three weeks, which will allow primary care and social care providers to request PPE from a central inventory.
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It will be supported by a new PPE manufacturing industry in the UK, the health secretary said.
Mr Hancock added: “Many businesses have generously come forward to turn over production lines as part of this national effort. In particular, I want to thank Burberry with their offers of gowns, Rolls Royce and McLaren who are creating visors.
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“We are talking to many others and we want more to step up to the plate. So if you have production facilities and you can meet our published technical specifications, we want to hear from you, so we can make this kit here in Britain.”
Mr Hancock also issued another warning to the public to “stay at home” over the Easter weekend.
It comes as six more people died from coronavirus at James Paget University Hospital, taking the Norfolk total to 93, and the number of confirmed cases has risen from 438 to 486 in Norfolk today (Friday, April 10).
At the Downing Street conference, Mr Hancock said: “This Easter will be another test of the nation’s resolve. It’s a time of year when people normally come together.
“But however warm the weather, however tempting your local beach or park, we need everyone to stay at home.
“Because in hospitals across the country, NHS staff are battling day and night to keep desperately sick people breathing, and they need you to stay at home.”