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Why can't we manufacture our own PPE?

(52 Posts)
Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 10:40:28

Just been reading in the news about delayed shipment of gowns from Turkey.

I know this stuff takes time to build a manufacturing base but why isn't the govt putting time, effort and money into making it in the UK? I've heard of Barbour and Burberry but surely there are other companies for masks, gloves and gowns?

Where is the mass call out made for PPE that was made for ventilators?

It pisses me off but I'm just venting.

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bluebell34567 Mon 20-Apr-20 11:10:29

i think you are right.

StarbucksSmarterSister Mon 20-Apr-20 11:26:02

We can. More than one company has said it's contacted the government but had no response.

Ponoka7 Mon 20-Apr-20 11:29:27

It was said last night on the BBC that offers from inside the UK were rejected. The Government has said 'if that's happened then get back in touch'.
There's always been questions about why the Tory government seem to not back British business. This was a lack of willingness to spend money on the NHS and that must never be forgotten.

welshpeony Mon 20-Apr-20 11:30:31

Of course UK could manufacture PPE !
Get on with it UK !

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 11:34:38

It was said last night on the BBC that offers from inside the UK were rejected.

I don't get why--unless it's about low prices and geo-politics or Tories being financed by rich overseas donors.

Whatever the reason, it's crazy and criminal.

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JoeBidensDisintegratingBrain Mon 20-Apr-20 11:36:53

When Borat needs protection from illness he wears a bottle of Gypsy tears around his neck.

coconuttelegraph Mon 20-Apr-20 11:39:34

I think it can be manufactured but meeting all the quality and H & S standards is probably a red tape nightmare if a business doesn't already make it.

DianaT1969 Mon 20-Apr-20 11:45:26

There are a huge number of requests for PPE on the government's tender portal. As well as fully-compliant PPE I notice urgent requests for any type of long sleeve protective overall, boilersuits etc from a council for their staff. Also requests for UK manufacturers to supply body bags and multi-shelf mortuary trolleys. It makes heart-breaking reading. They have been on the portal for weeks.
If anyone is in manufacturing, they will know to look at that site and get in touch with the lead contact given. Whether orders can be agreed processed fast enough is another question. I'm sure most countries will move away from the cheap China supply chain for PPE after this.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 20-Apr-20 11:49:36

But there is UK manufacture going on, right now!

Our local dressmakers have been contacted and are making fully compliant scrubs. We are crowd funding for the fabrics as, whilst they are happy to give their time for free, they can't afford a few bolts of the right fabric etc.

There may well be larger companies that have not been called back, but there are many that have either reached out or been found at a local level! As Diana said, the contacts are all on the government portal! If a local one man band can find it and use it...

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 20-Apr-20 11:50:49

It was said last night on the BBC that offers from inside the UK were rejected. I would take that with a pinch of salt. If it is as well researched and checked as that Times piece it will be pretty inaccurate!

viccat Mon 20-Apr-20 11:54:10

It sounds like they are, but we don't have the huge factories here that countries like China do - for all the same reasons production of almost everything has moved away from the UK for decades now.

They'd need to have the raw materials, the machines and most importantly the people to make everything. There was someone on BBC earlier talking about this, and she said it's basically lots of small manufacturers stepping up but it takes a while to make enough.

Barbie222 Mon 20-Apr-20 11:54:48

I remember seeing one person moaning a little while ago in the Daily Mail that his offer to source ventilators hadn't been taken up. With a little digging, it turned out he was a middleman standing to make huge profits and the government had contacted the supplier directly, turning him down. Not saying this is the same but it could be.

Footle Mon 20-Apr-20 11:57:08

@Barbie, if that's the case where is the PPE?

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 20-Apr-20 11:57:20

They'd need to have the raw materials, the machines and most importantly the people to make everything. I think that's why the one man bands have been able to start. They take a bolt or 3 of the right fabric and get on with it. Larger companies need far larger lengths of material to make it practical to keep their workforce on!

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 20-Apr-20 12:00:10

* if that's the case where is the PPE?* Fabric could still be being made; being checked for quality assurance; still on machines being made; in transit and then again being checked for conetnt and quality assurance.

The materials required have not been made yet! There isn't a warehouse somewhere with huge rolls of fabric sat waiting. It is all being made from scratch, from spinning the thread to weaving it to sending it out to be made up into PPE.

9ofpentangles Mon 20-Apr-20 12:01:18

We are a global economy now and have been for years.

It may be to do with a combination of cost and timings.

It just shows we need to trade with the rest of the world as do many other countries. This is not North Korea

So long as people have what they need when they need it, it doesn't matter where it came from

DippyAvocado Mon 20-Apr-20 12:01:42

There are very few textile manufacturing operations left in this country. I think those that are here make mainly high-end stuff so I guess they might be wondering if it's worth their while to switch to PPE. I suppose it depends how much money the government is offering. There might not be much of a market for their standard high-end stuff at the moment anyway.

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 12:04:31

When Borat needs protection from illness he wears a bottle of Gypsy tears around his neck.

Haha. We are clearly going wrong and need to follow the Borat approach. Maybe, garlic around the neck will help also.

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Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 12:12:27

So long as people have what they need when they need it, it doesn't matter where it came from.

But they don't have what they need, do they?
And the competition for China's PPE is through the roof. The US is outbidding many countries.
Plus what the UK has ordered either hasn't arrived, not up to spec (Netherlands), the wrong item or the wrong amount.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52351029

Which is why the push in domestically produced PPE needs to be increased sharpish.

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PeterWeg Mon 20-Apr-20 12:14:17

If it is as well researched and checked as that Times piece it will be pretty inaccurate!
No evidence that any of it was wrong.

The government has failed to do anything in the time it had, hence insufficient PPE, testing and one of the worst death rates of any country in the world.

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 12:15:18

I think those that are here make mainly high-end stuff so I guess they might be wondering if it's worth their while to switch to PPE.

There can't be much of a market for high-end stuff currently with all the job losses, surely? I would have thought they'd have no choice but to diversify and get some guaranteed income. Please correct me if I'm way off.

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PeterWeg Mon 20-Apr-20 12:17:54

Which is why the push in domestically produced PPE needs to be increased sharpish.
A major problem is that assembling the machine to make the filter material for FPP3 masks takes six months.

CricketCrocket Mon 20-Apr-20 12:21:29

I’ve been listening to LBC and a few people have called in recently to say that they (or someone they know) have contacted the government to offer their services to make PPE but had no response.

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 20-Apr-20 13:07:14

A major problem is that assembling the machine to make the filter material for FPP3 masks takes six months.

There are multiple types of PPE that can be made. Although I do hope that British industry will make FFP3 masks also eventually.

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