The UK have missed three separate chances to join the EU scheme to buy bulk personal protective equipment (PPE) for the NHS and health workers.
According to the Guardian newspaper Britain failed to get masks, gowns and gloves, under the EU scheme.
Medical staff in Europe are set to receive £1.3bn of PPE within days under the scheme.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said, “We are working round the clock with industry, the NHS, social care providers and the Army to ensure the supply of PPE over the coming weeks and months and will give our NHS and the social care sector everything they need to tackle this pandemic, including working with countries around the globe.
“We are also working with a number of firms to scale up production of existing UK ventilator manufacturers, as well as designing and manufacturing new products from scratch, and procuring thousands more machines from overseas.
“We will continue to work with European countries and others in order to make sure that we can increase the capacity within the NHS, and we will consider participating in future EU joint procurement schemes on the basis of public health requirements at the time.”
At the daily Downing Street briefing on the coronavirus emergency on Monday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “We understand the importance of getting PPE to the front line, whether it’s in care homes or the NHS.
“I think the strongest practical reassurance they will want and that we can give them is that, over the bank holiday weekend, over 16m items were delivered and we are straining every sinew to roll them out even further and even faster.”
There is mounting frustration amongst doctors as they are waiting for the government to approve coronavirus plasma therapy trials.
Plasma therapy extracts plasma from the blood of those who have recovered from coronavirus and the antibodies within is then given to patients in hospital who are sick, to help boost the immune system.
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