Coronavirus: Has the NHS got enough PPE?

Posted: May 11th 2020


An eye-watering exposition of the scale of activity currently underway in terms of PPE. This story tells us:

More than one billion items of PPE have been delivered across the UK, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

However, according to the BBC's Panorama programme, more than half of all the PPE items are surgical gloves - and in most cases, each individual glove is counted rather than pairs.

Talking about quantities of PPE, Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said the protective gear sent out in England by 2 May included: 

149 million masks

173 million aprons

2 million gowns

614 million gloves

The billion figure also includes body bags, swabs, clinical waste containers, cleaning equipment and detergent. 

And, as of 21 April: 

The Welsh government said it had delivered 48 million pieces of PPE to the NHS and local authorities.

In Northern Ireland, the UK has sent five million items of PPE and 75 million pieces have been ordered by its health service.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there were "adequate stocks of the main PPE", but acknowledged difficulties with delivering gowns. However, a survey by the Royal College of Nursing suggested half of all nurses working in high-risk environments had been asked to reuse PPE. 

The UK government said it has delivered 11 million items to Scotland.