Clipper Logistics has been sub-contracted by NHS Supply Chain principal partner Unipart to run an entirely separate supply channel for the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS Trusts and community healthcare partners.
Clipper Group will make a formal announcement to the City tomorrow morning (3 April) and motortransport.co.uk will share more details as they become available.
it is understood the Clipper Logistics operation will be run out of DIRFT.
Unipart was granted a five-year contract to provide logistics for NHS SC in September 2018, in a deal worth £730m. Its responsibilities included the inventory management, warehousing and delivery of non-drug medical consumables and devices to NHS hospitals.
However, NHS workers have complained of an ongoing shortage of PPE.
On 20 March deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries claimed that the distribution issues were solved, and on 30 March said the UK had always had sufficient stock. She apologised two days later, saying the distribution element had proved "a little bit tricky".
The failure to provide adequate PPE to NHS hospitals was dubbed a ‘crisis within a crisis’ in a joint trade union statement on 1 April and has been blamed for putting NHS staff at risk.
An NHS Supply Chain spokesperson said: “Demand for PPE products from our customers is so unprecedented that despite increasing staffing levels and running NHS Supply Chain’s network 24/7, more capacity is still needed to help us ensure that PPE products are delivered to the front line.
"The new PPE dedicated supply chain will relieve pressure on the established NHS Supply Chain and allow us to focus on delivering all other products in our catalogue, some in equally high demand."
Words: Louise Cole