Engineers tell government how PPE could be reused in the UK

Article by Adam Duckett

Frustration remains that engineers have not been asked to do more

SERIOUS consideration should be given to decontaminating and reusing PPE to alleviate shortages and improve sustainability, according to a briefing paper that the UK Government requested from engineers.

The paper was submitted to Government by the UK’s National Engineering Policy Centre (NEPC) with input from expert members of IChemE. The briefing follows the Government’s publication of a PPE strategy for England, which outlines how the UK has increased domestic manufacture of PPE from meeting just 1% of demand before the pandemic to the 70% of demand that it estimates will be achieved by December.

The strategy, which the Government published at the end of September, noted that the National Health Service (NHS) is interested in pursuing the reuse strategies that other countries have adopted to increase their resilience to PPE shortages. While more than 2bn items of PPE have been delivered to health and social workers in England between March and July, shortages have been reported. Now the health service faces increasing pressure from rising Covid-19 infections and the winter flu season.

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.