South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed a new report which outlines the dramatic increase in supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Scotland since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that frontline workers are able to access the vital equipment they need.


emma harper

The Scottish Government, in partnership with the NHS, Scottish Enterprise, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and private companies, has increased both the volume of PPE being manufactured in Scotland and the amount being imported from countries across Europe and around the world.

The South Scotland MSP has also welcomed that supplies of visors, gowns, aprons and equipment such as ventilators have all seen unprecedented increases. NHS National Services Scotland is now supplying more than 4.6 million surgical masks per week – 50% more than the total for the whole of the previous year.

The Scottish Government is also now supplying 11 million medical gloves per week to health boards, an increase of over 120%, and the public and private sectors have collaborated to meet the vastly increased demand for hand sanitiser – the equivalent of over a decade’s worth of normal supplies in just a few months. Many Dumfries and Galloway businesses including Crafty Distillery in Newton Stewart and Annandale Distillery have also played their part in ensuring the supply of hand sanitizer.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, there were a number of concerns raised around the supply of PPE across the whole of the UK. The Scottish Government therefore acted quickly and decisively to expand and strengthen PPE supplies in Scotland, ensuring that all frontline health and social care workers have access to the most appropriate PPE they need.

“I welcome that the Scottish Government have supported many Scottish businesses – including some across Dumfries and Galloway such as Crafty Distillery - to innovate and alter their production processes, so they can start making key items like masks, gowns and hand sanitiser, making Scotland less reliant on global supply chains. The Scottish Government were also the first administration in the UK to have a dedicated email address for anyone concerned about PPE supplies – so that these concerns can be addressed in a timely manner.

“The Scottish Government are continuing to work hard to provide PPE for both immediate and future needs, with a particular focus on domestic manufacturing to ensure sustainability and self-sufficiency of PPE for our hard working health and social care staff who do invaluable work each and every day.”