DAUK on Politics Home: row in Scotland as doctors crowdfund for PPE

Downing Street has rejected claims that the Government is telling manufacturers of personal protective equipment to prioritise England over Scotland as the UK fights the coronavirus.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday ordered an investigation into reports that PPE was being diverted to England – just hours after Scotland’s national clinical director branded the reports “rubbish”.

The claims come after one manufacturer of protective equipment, based in Wiltshire, said it would not supply Scotland or Wales under a contract it holds with Public Health England.

The row comes amid continued pressure on the UK government to ensure protective equipment including gowns, masks and visors are delivered to frontline staff treating coronavirus patients.

On Tuesday the Doctors’ Association UK, which has launched a crowd-funding effort to secure its own supply of personal protective equipment, said nearly half of its members doing high-risk procedures were unable to access the gowns needed to do their jobs.