Two billion items of PPE have been delivered to NHS and social care staff across the UK, the government has said.
Making the announcement, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that 341 million masks, 313 million aprons, 4 million gowns and 1.1 billion gloves have reached frontline workers since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Almost 28 billion items of PPE have been also been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply in the coming months.
Hancock said: “Coronavirus has placed unprecedented global demands on PPE supply chains. To tackle this we set a national challenge calling on companies to channel their manufacturing power into manufacturing much-needed PPE, and brought in Lord Deighton who has truly delivered once more for his country.
“Two billion items of PPE have now been delivered to the frontline, and a further 28 billion items sourced, that will protect frontline workers well into the future.
“It is thanks to the herculean effort from UK industry, the NHS and departmental teams, our diplomatic teams abroad, and the armed forces that we have now hit this impressive milestone.”
The normal supply chain for PPE was designed to accommodate delivery to 226 NHS Trusts, but the government said essential PPE supplies are now being supplied to 58,000 different settings.
But despite this declaration, home care providers say they have struggled throughout the crisis to get hold of adequate volumes of PPE to be confident that they could continue to provide care for their clients.
As such, providers were left to rely on private suppliers, many of which are still hiking their prices up or diverting their stock to the NHS.