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PPE: Distribution to Scotland

Volume 676: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2020

What steps he is taking to ensure the equitable distribution of imported personal protective equipment to Scotland. (902839)

We are working closely with the devolved nations to ensure that supplies of PPE, both domestic and imported, are distributed equally across the four nations. As I mentioned in my previous response, we are also working to ensure that different parts of the UK do not compete against one other when procuring PPE internationally.

Despite the England-only designation of some PPE imports, the grassroots medical association EveryDoctor has been collating a range of data on PPE availability, and anecdotal evidence suggests that the Scottish Government’s system of procurement and distribution of PPE for Scotland’s NHS has been more efficient and effective from its perspective than that experienced by frontline medical staff in the English NHS. Can the Minister advise the House of what discussions he has had—

I have had regular discussions with the Scottish Government about procuring PPE. Of course, it was the Scottish Government who had a delivery into Prestwick airport of PPE that was not properly labelled, which sat in the airport unable to get out into the care homes to protect the people we needed it to get to. The four nations across the United Kingdom continue to prioritise this issue. It is important for our NHS workers, our care workers and Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.