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17 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

UK “tight“ on protective gowns for healthcare staff, Hancock says

By Samuel Horti

The UK is “tight” on protective gowns for healthcare workers and is trying to buy more from overseas, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

He told the Health and Social Care Committee: “We are tight on gowns, that is the pressure point at the moment… We have another 55,000 gowns arriving today and we’re working on the acquisition internationally of more gowns.”

His comments follow NHS trusts warning they were running out of personal protective equipment (PPE), as we reported in our morning briefing. The director of one NHS Trust told the BBC that he had “less than 24 hours’ supply” of gowns. The government is partnering with fashion brands to produce more PPE, but industry experts have criticised ministers for focusing on big-name companies such as Burberry while ignoring help from smaller firms.

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