“It comes as an NHS trust is conducting a search for PPE suppliers amid the coronavirus outbreak and a nationwide shortage of face masks, gloves and aprons, which saw Mr Hancock insist the required stocks exist but argue there had been challenges in distribution. The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (UHDB) issued the tender document listed as ‘Covid-19 – PPE’ on April 1.
It described it as an ‘information gathering exercise’ to identify those who could supply or manufacture PPE should it need additional supplies in future.
Thousands of items of PPE were donated in recent weeks to help keep UHDB trust staff safe while treating Covid-19 patients, either suspected or confirmed. This included goggles, gloves, surgical masks and protective suits from the University of Derby and 10,000 surgical masks from Rolls-Royce.
Doctors’ Association UK chairman Dr Rinesh Parmar last month made an appeal to Boris Johnson, warning doctors and nurses feel like ‘cannon fodder’ because of a lack of protective equipment and kits.”