NHS Fife sets up PPE distribution hub

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NHS Fife has established a new hub to distribute quantities of personal protective equipment to healthcare sites across the Kingdom. Ensuring that healthcare staff have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial, both as a means of protecting staff and patients and in reducing the spread of the virus.

Over recent weeks a significant logistical operation has been undertaken to distribute large amounts of PPE to healthcare workers the length and breadth of Fife. The latest development in this operation has seen the opening of a new PPE distribution hub at Whyteman’s Brae Hospital. This enables NHS Fife to provide supplies of important PPE quickly and efficiently to healthcare staff working in the Kingdom’s communities and in its hospitals.

NHS Fife Director of Finance, Margo McGurk, said: “The importance of PPE in reducing the spread of this virus is well-established, and our procurement and transport teams have worked closely with our clinical teams over recent weeks to ensure that our staff have ready access to appropriate PPE at all times. The scale of the operation to manage and distribute this volume of materials is unprecedented, particularly within such timescales, and was made possible by the hard work and diligence of staff working across a number of areas.”

National guidelines were recently published setting out the specific protective equipment requirements in each clinical environment. NHS Fife is operating in accordance with these guidelines to ensure that neither staff nor patients are exposed to potential harm at any stage. The availability of PPE across the UK continues to be a source of some concern from healthcare workers and their loved ones.

NHS Fife Director of Nursing, Helen Buchanan, said: “We understand the anxiety of staff and their families; however, we are clear that we continue to have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment. Stock levels are monitored daily by our Lead Nurses and Senior Charge Nurses and there is a clear line of escalation when additional supplies are required. The establishment of our new PPE distribution hub strengthens our position still further, and assists us to process our deliveries of PPE quickly and get it out to all areas that need it.”

Despite challenges across the UK around the supply of PPE, NHS Fife has continued to receive regular supplies through national procurement arrangements. The Board’s supplies have been further supplemented by a number of local businesses, who have donated approved FFP3 masks and other items to support the Board’s response to covid-19 in Fife.

Mrs Buchanan added: “The generosity of local people, and indeed local businesses, has been overwhelming. Our single biggest priority is to protect our patients and the healthcare staff who care for them. Such donations have supported us in making our services even safer in challenging circumstances, and we want to thank our local community for the ongoing support – it is very much appreciated.”

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