Increase in PPE production

Expansion of Scottish manufacturing of gowns.

More vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be manufactured in Scotland following the establishment of a new NHS Scotland supply chain.

Contracts between NHS Scotland and a number of Scottish-based companies will help strengthen and expand the supply of vital protective gowns in Scotland, securing long-term stock levels. NHS Scotland has established the entirely new supply chain, from start to finish, within the space of a month.

Forfar-based Don & Low will supply around 2.8 million square metres of the base material required. The base material will then be converted into around one million non-sterile gowns by Redwood TTM Ltd and Keela, who are based in Wigan and Glenrothes respectively. Keela will also work with manufacturers Transcal and Endura, both based in Livingston, to deliver these Scottish supplies.

This contract will supply over half of NHS Scotland’s current weekly requirement for non-sterile gowns. 

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said:

“This new supply chain means significant volumes of the PPE gowns used in Scotland can be manufactured in Scotland – thereby helping to protect us from any global supply issues and ensure frontline staff continue to have the protection they need.

“It also demonstrates what can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to tackle the many challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Scottish Government, along with our colleagues at Scottish Enterprise and NHS Scotland, will continue to work with partners across the country to ensure that all frontline health and social care workers have access to the PPE they need.”


  • the new supply chain forms part of Scottish Government’s two-pronged ‘make and buy’ strategy to source PPE gowns. It fulfils the ‘make’ priority to establish a supply chain for gowns manufactured in Scotland and will complement the ongoing ‘buy’ activities to ensure that supply continues to meet demand
  • the establishment of the new supply chain has been made possible through collaborative working between NHS National Services Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government. In particular, the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) have worked closely with both Don & Low, and the converters, to establish garment specification requirements and required production schedules
  • the material manufactured by Don & Low is an 83g/m2 white polyethylene spunbond nonwoven with white polyethylene film
  • NHS Scotland, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, developed a design specification for a PPE gown that improved the manufacturability for UK converters i.e. to facilitate a rate of production that met NHS Scotland requirements
  • the base material and finished gowns have been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure they comply with the relevant material and performance standards
  • Further details about the companies involved are available on their respective websites:
    Redwood TTM Ltd
  • Keela and Redwood will initially ramp production to an output of 20,000 gowns per week, therefore providing NHS Scotland with a steady supply of 40,000 gowns per week. It is estimated that this output level represents over 50% of NHS Scotland’s current weekly requirement of 70,000 PPE gowns
  • the Scottish Government have other supplies of gowns which more than covers the current demand
  • should NHS Scotland wish, subsequently, to increase the rate of production and supply, this can be achieved through this established converter base with the potential addition of further Scottish-based garment manufacturers
  • the contract between NHS Scotland, and the converters, was finalised and signed-off on Wednesday 6th May 2020
  • the first deliveries of Don & Low material are scheduled for delivery, to Keela and Redwood, this week
  • the non-sterile PPE gowns will be manufactured in line with the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) published ‘Guidance for new high volume manufactures of Covid-19 PPE’ and testing standards and completions have been ratified by Health Protection Scotland
  • Key features will be:
    Non-sterile gown
    Latex free
    Protection from microbial penetration
    Fluid repellent material
    Thumb loop for added cuff security
    Overlap at back with adjustable ties


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