The Department of Health and Social Care has partnered with eBay, Clipper Logistics, and Royal Mail to develop an online portal through which health and care organisations can order personal protective equipment (PPE).
The system can be used by GPs; social care providers; pharmacies; dentists and orthodontists’ optometrists’ children’s care homes, secure homes and residential special schools; and community and residential drug and alcohol services to ensure staff have access to PPE during the Coronavirus pandemic.
All eligible organisations will receive an email inviting them to sign up to the portal. They will then be able to order weekly supplies which will be delivered directly to the door.
Limits have been set to enable the system to keep up with demand from across the country, and the PPE can only be used for COVID-19-related services.
Steve Parkin, chairman of Clipper Logistics, which has opened a new distribution centre to support the portal, said: "We are pleased to be able to continue to support the NHS in its efforts to ensure that PPE can be distributed effectively to the wider health and social care sector, enabling those organisations to operate safely while caring for those in need during these challenging times."
eBay UK vice president, Rob Hattrell, added: "We were asked by the NHS and other partners to deliver technical expertise and resources to address the pressing issue of PPE supply.
“eBay software engineers from around the world, including at our sites in San Jose, Portland, Zurich, Dublin, Berlin and here in the UK, have been working round the clock to get this live and I’m delighted we are now up and running."It’s important that we all do what we can to help the NHS at this critical time and we are excited to be a part of this.”