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An open letter from Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee MSP, to Scottish businesses supporting the national effort to ensure a secure supply of products required urgently by the NHS.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, which we know isn’t going away any time soon. Protecting staff working on the frontline is, of course, an absolute priority which is why we have been working hard to both secure additional equipment and supplies to help meet any immediate shortages, but also build long-term PPE manufacturing and hand sanitiser production capability in Scotland to meet future needs.
As well as rapidly identifying offers of support which could supply us with high volumes of approved PPE and sanitiser products in the fastest times, a multi-agency team - including colleagues from the NHS, Scottish Enterprise, SDI, NMIS and others - worked with businesses to grow Scottish capacity to produce key products and build resilience. This has helped to build resilience for any future crisis, and we are also moving towards self-sufficiency in many key items of PPE and sanitiser, including several new domestic supply chains established in record time.
Dozens of Scottish businesses have diversified to support the national effort and ensure a secure supply of NHS essentials. Every one of those has played a hugely important role in ensuring we have the vital equipment and supplies we need in Scotland as we continue to tackle this devastating disease and I want to publicly thank you all for your incredible efforts.
It is so encouraging to see so many Scottish businesses quickly diversifying their product lines and invest in new equipment to help us deliver what is needed, when it is needed and I am proud to see Scotland coming together in this way, using all levers at our disposal. Great things can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate to tackle the many challenges caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This is complex work in unprecedented times and tremendous progress has been made in only a matter of weeks in meeting demand, building resilience, reshoring activity and enhancing self-sufficiency.
I would therefore like to extend my sincere thanks to all the companies that have helped us in our efforts.