PPE Supply Implementation Project Board minutes: October 2022

Minutes from the meeting held on 10 October 2022.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government

  • Alan Morrison (Chair) (AM)
  • Graeme Cook (GC)
  • Ruth Paterson (RP)
  • Mike Healy (MH)
  • Frances MacKay (FM)
  • Marie Murray (Secretariat) (MM)

NHS NSS National Procurement

  • Gordon Beattie (GB)
  • Iain Main (IM)
  • Matt Thomas (MT)


  • Kathryn O'Connell (CO'C)
  • Danny Duffy (DD)
  • Elaine Allan (EA)

Items and actions

Welcome and open the meeting

AM welcomed members to the meeting. There were no requests to add any extra items to the agenda.

Minutes from 8 September 2022 and actions outstanding

Previous minutes were approved, and it was noted that all previous actions were complete or nearing completion.

Scottish PPE manufacturing SBAR

Paper 1 Scottish PPE manufacturing SBAR from NSS

  • MT presented the paper and explained that the SBAR mostly concentrated on demand model six. (current demand, with a 50% reduction every 12 months (with a 1 million a year drop on aprons until we get to the 2019 demand level as current demand is already comparatively near that level). The Board considered the information and recommendations in the paper. It was noted that demand has dropped significantly and that accurately forecasting future demand is proving to be challenging
  • it was oserved that moving forward we will receive information in relation to high consequence infectious disease planning in November and that infection control would be covered. The IPC guidance has been changing and the stock we hold at the moment has a long shelf life. Given the uncertainty about the future level of demand, it was observed that it would be prudent to wait until more is known in that regard before procuring more stock which may be wasted despite the long shelf life
  • from a purely procurement point of view, it was stated that UK production gives a similar level of resilience to scottish production. It was noted that the project team should seek a ministerial view on the recommendations in the paper
  • the suggestion was made that the project need to take a look at what we learned from the pandemic and that this included production of PPE in Scotland and the UK would had been the best option when the global market collapsed during covid 19. The price of UK manufactured PPE is currently higher than that available from foreign manufacturers, however we need to bear in mind that this price will be maintained under the suggested procurement model should another pandemic occur. Lessons learned included the limitations of just in time strategies and reliance on international supply chains, as well as the undesirable consequence of non-rotated stockpiles
  • NSS have a master vendor framework in place and indicated that they can support domestic resilience using this approach
  • demand levels within local authorities and other public sector organisations have been difficult to ascertain and the board discussed how best to proceed given that difficulty. Given that the level of demand from those organisations looks to be significantly lower than NHS demand, however, it was observed that one option is to approach ministers to obtain a decision on what model should be used to maximise public sector participation. The board were asked whether they were content for the project team to use estimated figures to produce a sliding scale document to share with other organisations. The board were content
  • the issue of add on costs of storage and distribution making the offer less financially attractive to public sector bodies who don’t currently pay those costs was raised, and the Board were asked whether it would it be feasible to use a model where organisations procure directly from framework suppliers as they do with Scotland Excel. The reply was yes, however, a new framework would be needed and the benefits of using the supply for stockpile rotation purposes would be lost
  • it was observed that one option would be facilitate local authority access to four nations PPE.  Resilience comes at a cost and it was suggested that ministers should be approached for a decision on how that cost should be spread throughout the public sector

Action: look to contact SOLACE to discuss and inform potential options that can be presented to ministers for consideration.

Options and cost appraisal on public sector supply

Paper 2 – options and cost appraisal public sector supply paper

Discussion on this paper has been postponed, as it requires further financial detail.

Action: to distribute this paper to the board once ready prior to the next board meeting.

There was then discussion of the five recommendations in the SBAR and it was suggested that three, four and five should progress, with one and two needing further consideration.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Implementation Project Board has been arranged for 30 November 2022.

Any other business


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