Deal will ensure protective equipment for frontline NHS staff
The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced that British PPE supplier, Alpha Solway, part of the Globus Group, has been selected to manufacture 232 million surgical masks and two million visors for NHS Scotland.
The £53m order will meet the demand for Scotland’s health and social care sectors until Summer 2021.
In addition to ensuring NHS Scotland’s frontline staff have the required PPE, the contract will also enable the creation of 200 extra jobs in addition to the 50 already created at Alpha Solway since the start of the pandemic.
The Scottish Government has welcomed the news, as in addition to the significant job creation the deal will also deliver significant savings to the NHS.
Alpha Solway, which is based in Dumfriesshire, moved its respiratory PPE manufacturing to the UK earlier this year to reduce the disruption to the global PPE supply chain caused by coronavirus.
In addition to the surgical masks and face visors, the supplier will also be producing six million FFP3 respirator masks, fulfilling 87% of Scotland’s health and social care needs.
These masks offer the highest level of protection against fine particles, including viruses and bacteria.
Alpha Solway director, Steven Binnie, said: “NHS Scotland’s commitment to purchase critical PPE from local manufacturers sends positive signals to businesses such as ours and gives us the confidence to continue investing in the local area.
“Put simply, it enables us to do more in the fight against the impact of COVID-19, but in a way that lays positive, sustainable foundations for the future.”
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, added: “This is fantastic news for Dumfriesshire and for NHS Scotland.
“It is great that this substantial PPE order will be supplied by Scottish firm Alpha Solway.
“It delivers significant savings to the NHS as well as supporting vital jobs – both at Alpha Solway and at other Scottish businesses in its supply chain - and demonstrates that Scottish business is cost competitive on a global stage.
“The order also highlights that the pro-active work undertaken during lockdown to bolster the COVID-19 supply chain is continuing to deliver real benefits in the form of higher employment, increased manufacturing activity, and savings for our NHS.”
The order was awarded to Alpha Solway through a regulated procurement framework with Arco – a major national distributer of PPE.