DHSC and NHS Supply Chain tell trusts not to stockpile medicines and medical goods
Suppliers asked to hold onto Brexit stockpiles
Chinese government formally requisitions factories to supply respirators locally
Many common consumables used by the health service are made in China, where demand for items like respirators and surgical masks has surged.
The DHSC this evening asked suppliers to hold onto any stockpiles they built up ahead of Brexit — and warned trusts and members of the public against stockpiling.
It also asked suppliers to perform risk assessments of the impact of coronavirus. NHS Supply Chain, which procures consumbles and other products on behalf of trusts across the country, warned against stockpiling last week and asked customers to give it as much notice as possible of their product needs and to avoid making “exceptionally large orders”.
It said it was stockpiling “many key product lines”, but may need to “manage any adverse ordering patterns” to prevent unnecessary strain on supply.
HSJ has established that some medical manufacturers, including Medline and JSP, have stopped accepting new customers in the face of unprecedented demand. Other companies, including Halyard Health, have said they are “prioritising” existing customers.
Some companies with operations in China have had their factories requisitioned by the government. JSP, which has two factories in China, has been making respiratory protection equipment for Chinese government agencies since 29 January and expects this to continue until at least the end of February.