2020’s Unprecedented Call for Personal Protective Equipment

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter

2020 has been one of the most remarkable periods in living history, with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting healthcare workers and communities on a global scale.

One of the first lessons we learned about inhibiting the transmission of the pandemic, was that deployment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on healthcare frontlines would be critical in controlling the spread of the disease. 

With hospitals, nursing homes and care organisations acknowledging the effectiveness of PPE in mitigating risks for onward contagion, it was inevitable that many frontline healthcare providers would struggle with reliable procurement. Countries globally took immediate steps to ensure that their healthcare providers had sufficient stocks to meet internal demand – often placing export embargos across nationally-manufactured PPE and hygiene products. 

As a result, there has been a global disruption in the reliable and timely procurement, import and ongoing supply of PPE including gowns, masks, surgical gloves and sanitizer.

Wherever there is demand, there is exploitation

Global demand for this equipment is at unprecedented levels and several countries have placed export bans on the sale of PPE. While we entered the crisis with a stockpile designed to respond to an outbreak of pandemic influenza and a no-deal Brexit, our supply chain for PPE was designed to accommodate delivering to 226 NHS trusts.

As of this week, we are now providing essential PPE supplies to 58,000 different providers including care homes, GP surgeries, hospices and community care organisations. We also went into this crisis without a large-scale domestic PPE manufacturing industry to draw on”.

The Secretary of State for Health & Social Care – September 2020

As with any market disruption which leads to unprecedented demand for a product, the PPE sector has seen a rapid increase in unscrupulous and unregulated manufacturers. Many firms have been capitalising upon the global fear associated with procuring sufficient products, to profit from it with unregulated and non-compliant items. In the early stages of the pandemic ‘lockdown’ period, the market was flooded with untested PPE. Firms with the capacity and resources to sidestep into manufacturing high-demand products exploited the uncertainty driven by the virus, to launch poor-quality items on to the market.

“The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is seeing reports from victims who have lost money when they have tried to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) online, from fraudulent websites, that simply do not exist. If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040”


Meeting national demand through regulated manufacturing

As we progress to a stronger understanding of the disease, and how it can be contained and managed, the initial market saturation of non-compliant PPE has thankfully slowed. The initial panic purchasing has left the government with a more cautionary approach to procurement. This enables them to prioritise reputable specialist UK manufacturers including SDS Protection, in preference to less recognised brands and suppliers. However, in partnering with known and reliable brands, there is still concern over whether approved suppliers can accommodate the demand for PPE across the UK’s 58,000 care providers.

Why you can trust SDS Protection to be your reliable partner for PPE

As dedicated specialist providers of gowns to healthcare organisations nationally, the team at SDS worked promptly to safeguard our supply in the early stages of the pandemic. We anticipated that there would be significant issues relating to reliable procurement of materials and manufacturing, and we placed safeguards across our operations, to enable us to accommodate the demand for high-quality gowns, across the UK’s frontline workers. 

This has enabled us to maintain compliance with the regulatory standards for our products (BS EN 13795), while escalating production – without compromising on quality. As we have been in operation since 1977, we have a longstanding partnership relationship with suppliers who have proven their capacity for production, while upholding the quality which our customers expect of our brand. 

We maintain a rolling stock volume of c10,000 products at any given time, ensuring we can accommodate bulk orders without any associated delays in getting your products out, to those of our NHS and Healthcare sector workforce who need them the most. We’ve navigated the early issues relating to importing of products and materials, investing in our stock holding capacity to anticipate demand. 

By choosing SDS Protection, you can tick reliability and quality of your team’s PPE off your list of things to be concerned about. In a period where our critical frontline staff have bigger issues to occupy their time, we’ve got your back.