(SCOTLAND) #Coronavirus Report: More than one billion items of PPE have been issued by Scotland’s health service since the start of the pandemic, new figures show #AceHealthDesk report

#CoronavirusNewsDesk#Covid19 in Scotland: One billion items of PPE issued during the pandemic: The latest NHS Scotland figures show that between 1 March, 2020 and 5 May this year, more than 1.07 billion items of PPE had been issued to the NHS and care homes.

By Andrew Picken
BBC Scotland News

Monklands Hospital
Scotland Pandemic

The protective equipment has been used by the NHS and social care sector in the fight against Covid: The increased use of masks, gloves, gowns and hand sanitiser has cost the taxpayer more than £320-million:

A further £7m in new contracts to deal with the extra waste generated has also been awarded by the NHS: This includes nearly 200 million masks and more than 320 million pairs of gloves:

PPE

Getty Images: Some of the PPE items issued

  • 664.8mGloves (singles)
  • 190.9mType IIR masks
  • 187.1mAprons

Source: Scottish government

An analysis done for Audit Scotland shows that, as of early February 2020, the NHS in Scotland was distributing 96,911 items of PPE every week. Equivalent to five million a week. 

By the first week of April this haul of protective equipment had reached 24.4m – 200 times the usual amount. 

Unprecedented worldwide demand for PPE saw prices soar and, as of December 2020, the additional cost of the equipment was put at £320m by health boards and the social care sector. 

As well as the PPE, waste collection costs have gone up as a result of the pandemic.

The NHS has awarded extra contracts worth more than £7m to collect used PPE and waste generated by the vaccination and testing programme. 

This is in addition to the Scotland-wide £100m NHS waste contract run by Spanish-owned Tradebe Healthcare. 

NHS figures show that in April this year the health service dealt with 1,633 tonnes of waste, up more than 200 tonnes on the same month in 2020. 

‘Sudden increase’

A spokeswoman for NHS National Services Scotland said: “The NHS Scotland response to Covid-19 witnessed a sudden increase in both the overall volume of healthcare waste and the type of healthcare waste produced right across the UK. 

“All NHS healthcare waste producers were impacted, as well as healthcare waste service providers. 

“During 2020, Covid-19 planning anticipated further waves. Appropriate accelerated resilience measures were therefore put in place via these direct awards, in order to provide support to the existing healthcare waste infrastructure and mitigate any risks to critical front line services.”

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#AceHealthDesk report ……Published: May.09: 2021:

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