Securing vital COVID-19 supplies for Scotland

Offers of help from more than 1,600 businesses and individuals.

The First Minister has praised those manufacturers and businesses which have stepped in to support frontline services by diversifying production lines, increasing capacity and exploring new distribution routes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

So far more than 1,600 businesses and individuals have come forward to support the national response.

Leading chemicals company CalaChem has already produced 20,000 litres of hand sanitiser, using alcohol supplied by distillers Whyte and Mackay, with an order in place for a further 560,000 litres over the next four weeks. Stonehaven manufacturing firm Macphie has started bottling the product and will deliver the initial order into the national supply chain from next week.

Meanwhile Annan-based PPE manufacturers Alpha Solway are currently producing 20,000 face visors per day for the NHS, to fulfil an order of 1.1 million visors.

Further PPE and NHS supplies have also arrived at Prestwick Airport today (Friday) on a second charter flight from China. The cargo included around 11 million face masks, with one million of these for NHS Wales, and 100,000 testing kits for NHS Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Scotland’s health and social care system is facing unprecedented demand, so it’s tremendous to see so many step up to support the national response to COVID-19 and I thank them all for their efforts to deliver what is needed, when it is needed.

“The last few weeks have shown how adaptable and responsive we can be in these challenging times. We have received more than 1,600 offers of support from businesses and individuals, many of them offering to diversify their production lines to support the national response. From these we have been able to secure vital equipment at volume to tackle key manufacturing challenges. 

“This morning a second charter flight from China arrived at Prestwick Airport with more PPE and NHS supplies, helping us continue to increase the supply available.

“Protecting staff working on the frontline is an absolute priority and we will continue to do all we can to make health and social care staff feel as safe as possible in their workplace.”

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said:

“The pace and agility of Scotland’s business community has been phenomenal. In a short space of time, together we’ve been able to not only source and import supplies in a competitive international market, but also pivot our domestic supply chain and scale up manufacturing here in Scotland to meet the critical needs of the NHS and frontline workers. 

“We and our partners continue to assess the evolving picture and ensure Scottish businesses can help build resilience right across the supply chain.”

Jim Miller, Director for Procurement, Commissioning, and Facilities at NHS National Services Scotland said:

“A big part of what we were doing in NHS Scotland procurement is to look at how the money we spend with suppliers can have a positive impact on the Scottish economy. The current emergency has accelerated some of that activity and is helping build a strengthened, more sustainable and high quality supply chain in Scotland.

“We’re working to further progress domestic supply routes around PPE, but what has been achieved in a short space of time is testament to the collaborative efforts and innovative ‘can do’ attitude of Scotland’s business communities coming together.”

NHS National Services Scotland’s National Procurement, supported by a cross-government team led by the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee and including the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, NHS Scotland and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, has helped to secure 10 million masks plus other critical equipment, from suppliers in China.

The 1.1 million visors being produced by Alpha Solway will be supplied to the NHS National Distribution Centre for onward delivery to all of Scotland’s Health Boards. 

Since 1 March, over 90 million PPE items have been delivered to hospitals, and over 20 million delivered to social care across Scotland.

Eight weeks’ supply of PPE was delivered to GPs in Scotland during the week of 30 March, plus 1,200 community pharmacies across Scotland also received an initial PPE stock supply in early April.

Updated guidance on PPE for health and social care workers was published on 2 April.

Email address for people to contact if they do not have the PPE they need:



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