Face Masks Nitrile Gloves PPE News

Has there been a PPE shortage in the UK, and why?

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has ruined the world in a myriad of ways. It has killed or hurt millions of lifes, made life troublesome for practically every human on the planet, forced us into repeated lockdowns, and put restrictions on everyday activities. But not only has it had a humanitarian impact, but the massively increased demand for medical protective clothing such as PPE has also resulted in overdrive manufacturing and chaotic distribution processes. In this article, we’ll examine whether there has actually been a PPE shortage in the UK, whether or not it is ongoing, and why it is there in the first place. 

When the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, China late last year, the UK government didn’t pay a great deal of notice to it – much the same as many other countries in the world. As the virus arrived in the UK and began to spread rapidly, the government was overall fairly slow to respond to it, despite the science strongly suggesting that restrictions or lockdowns would have to be enforced. When the UK was finally put into a lockdown, it was quite a bit later than many other countries. As a result of this delay, the UK hadn’t stockpiled PPE resources fast enough, and as the infections mounted, a shortage of PPE set in.

The PPE shortage in the UK during the early and mid-stages of this year’s pandemic was primarily in the main items of personal protective equipment rather than gloves, which are generally very fast to manufacture and distribute in large quantities. However, the shortage did affect basically every item that needed to be produced, and many hospitals ran particularly low on personal protective equipment at the climax of the coronavirus’ spread.

Eventually, this shortage in PPE was dealt with, in part due to increased demand from hospitals, medical institutions and the government, but also due to demand from consumers for gloves, hand sanitizer, face masks and face shields, etc. These two factors pushed manufacturers to suddenly crank up their production rate and now there is far less of a PPE shortage than there was in the worst moments of the pandemic. 

As producers continue to supply more and more personal protective equipment and gloves, there is more than enough supply to go around. There is also still sufficient demand for these products so it’s unlikely that suppliers will decrease their batch sizes in the near future. This means that we’re successfully able to stock large amounts of nitrile gloves with fantastic distribution speeds and quality. If your practice or household needs any nitrile gloves, we’re ready and waiting for you to make a purchase.