Received from: College of Podiatry
Congress notes that when the Covid-19 pandemic first struck and more became known about its transmission that a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) quickly followed.
This shortage was driven by a lack of preparedness for a pandemic and a massive and sudden worldwide demand for PPE.
In its policy paper, personal protective equipment (PPE) strategy: stabilise and build resilience, the government reported that before the pandemic less than one per cent of the PPE used in the UK was manufactured here.
Prior to the pandemic PPE had been sourced mainly from China. While a massive operation was undertaken to secure PPE supplies, the UK was often fighting against other countries to move supplies halfway round the world with all the negative effects that that has on the environment and sustainability.
In its report, the government proudly reports that by the end of the pandemic 70 per cent of PPE was being produced in the UK.
This should have been the case before the pandemic and steps should now be taken to ensure that workers are never expected to put their lives at risk by working without PPE because it isn’t available when we in the UK have the resources and expertise to meet the demand.
Congress calls on the General Council to pressure the UK government to ensure that a proper strategy is in place for the future production of fit for purpose PPE not to be reliant on overseas production that can go wrong when it is most needed and is not environmentally friendly.
Royal College of Podiatry