Rachel Reeves writes to Michael Gove to raise a series of urgent questions around the shortage of PPE

Rachel Reeves MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has written to Michael Gove to raise a series of urgent questions around the shortage of personal protective equipment in the NHS.

Reeves writes that reports that NHS staff are now being asked to treat coronavirus patients without full-length gowns shows the severity of the Personal Protective Equipment shortage in our hospitals and “the desperate need for more to be done, and faster, to keep frontline workers safe.”

Reeves highlights the “huge desire within British textiles manufacturing to help” and is concerned by “a clear sense within the industry that the means to help is there but the government has been slow to respond. A number of firms that have filled in the government’s request form have heard nothing back.”

Given the severity of the situation and the threat to lives of NHS staff and patients, if this is not resolved, The Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster asks for clarification on a number of issues including:

• How many UK businesses have offered to support the manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment and how many have been taken up?

• Can you give assurance that any UK company ready and willing to produce PPE to the right standard will not be overlooked by the Cabinet Office?

• Can the government provide an exact date by which all those working in hospitals and social care will have a continual, adequate supply of PPE of the required standard, so they can do their jobs in safety?

Reeves ends the letter by writing that more can be done to “harness the willing and talents of British manufacturers.”

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