Throughout Spring 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was unfolding across the world. Supply chains were starting to face many complex challenges and disruptions. Meanwhile the UK was already facing a critical depletion in available PPE at the same time as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was experiencing an escalating demand for products such as face masks, gloves, gowns, films and chemicals. Medical staff on a UK national level were now facing patients with insufficient supply of basic PPE and other essential items, which are necessary to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, the UK government was reassuring the general public by announcing deals to procure and purchase bulk quantities of stock to meet the growing deficit. Some of these decisions were seemingly being made without the necessary levels of regulatory scrutiny being applied.
NHS departments were being presented with multiple supply offers to satisfy the shortfall. These offers were coming in from large companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs alike. Similarly, many of the products were being offered without a thorough understanding of the prerequisite standards which must be demonstrated, even under the scope of COVID-19 regulatory easement being applied by the UK Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS).
It became essential to understand, in real time, whether some of these products were fit for purpose, could bolster the supply chain or were more dangerous than no PPE at all.
JensonR+ donated review time for their expert to carry out due diligence and scrutinise the accompanying data. This expert independent opinion would allow the NHS department to make an informed decision and take one of the following actions:
- Reject the product
- Place on hold (understand the regulatory deficiencies and request increased evidence)
- Accept the product
“I wanted to say a big thank you from myself and the rest of my team for the support and advice you gave myself and in turn our Covid response hub who helped field the offers of support coming in from businesses and support local NHS trusts with queries as and when they arose.
I was reassured having worked with you previously that I could trust the information and advice was from a person with expertise in the field and your guidance was immensely helpful at a time when there was a lot of information and requests for support coming into us.
I want to say thank you to the company for allowing you to support us in this way. It was incredibly helpful at a time of confusing and conflicting information.
There are a couple of examples that I wish to highlight. One is an offer of type IIR masks which came into one of our local trusts from a Chinese manufacturer. Matt was able to review the information and provide clear and concise guidance back to myself which I was able to talk through with the local procurement team. They decided to not commit to purchasing of this large volume of masks at considerable costs due to the distributor not being able to validate their claims.
Another project which you helpfully provided advice to me and our local NHS trust and companies was for a respiratory protective equipment which we discussed under an NDA. This project is still ongoing, and I hope that this will benefit our healthcare workers both locally and nationally in the challenge of supplying appropriate and sustainable PPE.”