NHS partners from our region have come together to secure a deal that will see a Yorkshire warehouse holding a South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw wide pandemic stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to swiftly assist with any future health situation.

The vast supply of PPE including clinical-grade masks, gowns and face masks, will be housed at the facility, enabling all of South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw’s health partners to have rapid access to emergency stock holding of PPE for future need, both in terms of managing potential large-scale outbreaks of Covid-19, but also to support NHS’ winter preparedness plans.

The Procurement and Logistics team in the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System is managing the supplementary PPE stocks for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, and has overseen the new deal.

The new warehouse and distribution facility can hold more than 2000 pallets of PPE and is run by an organisation which is already a trusted supplier on the NHS Supply Chain. The site is also well served to the regional motorway networks, enabling for rapid distribution to hundreds of health settings such as hospitals, GP centres and care homes across the region.

Since early April, the FlyDSA Arena Sheffield, managed by Sheffield International Venues (SIV), has provided a highly useful PPE-overflow store for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw’s supplementary equipment. The store of high-volume PPE equipment was initially identified as a critical component of the region’s infection control measures to manage the spread of Covid-19, especially among NHS workers across the system.

During this time, the Sheffield-based site has held a significant PPE stockholding, supporting the region’s health and care system. The initial arrangement was made on a short-term basis, facilitated due to the temporary suspension of live events at the Arena. This meant the venue’s considerable floor space was able to accommodate huge volumes of PPE stock –  around 1600 pallets of PPE. It has provided a highly important PPE back-up resource, enabling for the quick retrieval of clinical-grade gowns, face masks, hand sanitiser, aprons, visors, gloves and waste bags to support a number of health and care organisations across Bassetlaw, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Paul Ralston, Procurement Director for the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System said: “The recent pandemic has demonstrated the  importance of reliable procurement, storage and supply of PPE and equipment to the NHS.

“We are delighted to have secured excellent terms for the holding of our Covid-19 PPE supplies going forwards, and now have a healthy stockpile of around 11,500,000 items of PPE, which stands us in good stead as we head into the challenging winter months.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sheffield International Venues (SIV) for their enormous support during the first phase, which helped our health and care system access vital PPE supplies in the most urgent of cases. We wish them well in the re-opening of their venues.”

This storage facility will hold supplementary stock of PPE only, with the national allocation continuing to be procured and managed centrally by NHS England and Improvement.