At a briefing earlier today, the First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, announced that British PPE supplier Alpha Solway, part of the Globus Group, has been selected to manufacture 232 million surgical masks and 2 million visors for NHS Scotland.
The £53 million 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, this 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 the coronavirus.
In addition to the surgical masks and face visors, Alpha Solway will also be producing 6 million FFP3 respirator masks, fulfilling 87% of Scotland’s health and social care needs. FFP3 masks offer the highest level of protection against fine particles, including viruses and bacteria.
Alpha Solway director Steven Binnie said, “Alpha Solway is proud to be awarded this order to further support NHS Scotland during this incredibly challenging time. We are also delighted to announce that it allows us to create two hundred new jobs.He continued, “NHS Scotland’s commitment to purchase critical PPE equipment 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 said: “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 their supply chain - and demonstrates that Scottish business is cost competitive on a global stage.
“The order also highlights that the proactive 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 £53 million NHS Scotland order was awarded to Alpha Solway through a regulated procurement framework with Arco – a major national distributer of PPE.