Scotland’s largest health council has warned that there is a shortage of protective equipment for coronaviruses.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that the current supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is more stable now, but that there are “shortages of different pieces” of equipment.
In a new newspaper, the board of health revealed that it had sometimes been forced to buy PPE “at prices above the usual prices”.
Global demand for gloves and masks is at unprecedented levels.
Nicola Sturgeon previously said there were “adequate stocks of the main PPE” but acknowledged the difficulties in delivering the overalls.
However, a Royal College of Nursing survey suggested that half of all nurses working in high-risk environments had been asked to re-use PPE.
In a document for the May 5 interim council meeting, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that “work continues at the local and national levels to ensure that staff have the right PPE at the right time.”
He added, “While the current number of Covid-19 positive patients appears to have stabilized, the supply, supply, distribution and use of PPE continue to evolve and need to be improved and refined, in particular by preparing for any “second wave” epidemic.
“While the current PPE supply is more stable, there are still problems with the PPE supply from the National Distribution Center. This supply problem is reflected at the British level.
“Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, this has included national shortages of different PPE items at different times, unclear supplies and erratic deliveries. “
The newspaper said this was symptomatic of increased demand and added: “These shortages have led the supply team (sometimes) to bypass normal tendering processes to buy inventory from prices higher than usual prices ”.
The NHS National Distribution Center in Larkhall is the place where PPE is collected before being passed to all boards of health.
Between March 1 and April 23, more than 90 million items of PPE were delivered to Scottish hospitals and eight weeks of protective equipment was delivered to general practitioners during the week of March 30.
The impact on Glasgow
The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde document gives an overview of the volume of patients the council deals with, reflecting the fact that it is the most populous part of Scotland.
As of May 1, the committee included 538 Covid – 19 hospital confirmed patients, and 441 other Covid – 19 suspect patients.
The newspaper reports that intensive care activities were at their highest level on April 13, when there were 86 patients, 75 of whom had the virus.
As of May 1, 67 patients were in intensive care, 44 of whom had a coronavirus.
The document notes that “the length of stay for these patients has been extended and it is anticipated that the need for additional intensive care capacity will continue for some time”.