One of the UK’s most senior naval officers has been brought in to help lead the government’s efforts to address shortages of personal protective equipment for health workers.
Jim Higham, assistant chief of the naval staff, is working with Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 Olympics organising committee, who was asked last month to oversee Britain’s production of PPE for NHS and care workers.
complained they have insufficient PPE to do their jobs safely, with families of some who lost their lives blaming shortages for their deaths.
Separately, members of the British army’s 101 Logistics Brigade, responsible for delivering ammunition and supplies to front line troops, have developed a new online platform with web auction site eBay which will enable community, primary and social care providers to order PPE from the central NHS stockpile.
The system will distribute PPE to workers in GP surgeries, care homes and other community settings who do not normally need access to central NHS supplies of this equipment.
Nick Carter, chief of the defence staff, said last month that delivering PPE to frontline healthcare workers was “the greatest single logistic challenge” he had come across in nearly 40 years of military service.
Eb Mukhtar, an army reservist who heads operations for Google’s shopping division across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was scrambled back to the UK from Luxembourg in mid-March.