I am aware of how important it is to ensure that health workers have the PPE they need and I know that everyone is working as quickly as possible to source and distribute further supplies.
I have been in close contact with the Government, NHS England, Kent and Medway CCG and Medway Maritime Hospital regarding the supply of PPE. I have had reassurance that the overall stock of PPE with local healthcare providers has been and remains good. The vast majority of healthcare staff have had adequate PPE.
The regulations in place regarding the quality of PPE have been updated and exceed that of World Health Organisation requirements. This guidance has been issued by organisations including, Public Health England, NHS England, The Health and Safety Executive, and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG).
There will of course be some supply issues due to the sheer demand, however a military-sized operation has been underway to ensure the supply of PPE. The Government have established the national supply distribution response team, supported by the Armed Forces, to help deliver equipment to people who need it the most. We have delivered hundreds of millions of FFP3 masks, surgical masks and other PPE equipment. GP practices and hospitals should first try to obtain PPE through their usual suppliers before then contacting the Local Resilience Forum or The National Distribution Hotline.
I have been closely monitoring assisting with the support that has been delivered locally, and I know that Medway and Kent has been coping well. I have had assurances from health services that supply of PPE and testing for staff has been and remains good.
I am however aware of the difficulty in supply of specific item PPE items, namely, fluid repellent gowns. If you are a business able to provide these gowns or medical grade PPE, please do get in touch with me.