UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is working to support the government of UK as it starts to increase the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). A new hub containing guidance on PPE and infection prevention and control (IPC) is now available, containing information for both health and social care settings and other workers and sectors.
The hub also links to the cross-government UK-wide PPE plan to ensure that critical PPE is delivered to those on the frontline. This includes a new ‘Make’ strategy of encouraging UK manufacturers to produce PPE.
“UKFT is working to support the government as it starts to increase the availability of PPE. However, it is estimated that global demand for PPE has grown by 1,000 per cent in the past few weeks, said UKFT in a press release.
“We have been overwhelmed by the very many offers to help we have received from across the UK fashion and textile community. Many of you have offered to help produce masks and gowns for the NHS and other key workers. There are a number of bottlenecks in the supply chain that government is looking to resolve very quickly and the most important of which is the availability of the correct fabric. It is vital that all PPE is made from the appropriate material otherwise the protection given by items could be compromised.
“The government is now working rapidly to put in place a quick and simple system to onboard companies to the NHS supply base, to develop the appropriate terms and conditions and to ensure the regulatory system is able to cope with the ramping up of production.
“When these measures are all in place the government will be operating a triage system which in effect will see government work with larger manufacturing firms first. This does not mean that offers from smaller companies are unwanted. However, government officials have asked that small companies do not manufacture products without hearing from government regarding the required specifications.”
UKFT has shared with the government details of those companies that are already able to source PPE at scale and speed.
To assist UK manufacturers and designers who have turned their production over to making PPE for the NHS, specialist courier Freight Brokers is making available a monthly total of 1,000 parcels – free of charge – to move goods from factories, warehouses and studios to NHS distribution centres.
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