Council halves £600k monthly bill for PPE

Council spending on personal protective equipment (PPE) has halved from more than £600,000 a month to less than £300,000.

The bill has come down since the government’s PPE “Portal”, initially known as the Clipper system, started operating on Monday 8 June after a two-month delay.

This has taken the strain off Brighton and Hove City Council which, in May, was spending £624,000 a month on PPE, with almost half of the equipment going to the care sector.

A report going before the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday (9 July) said that the monthly bill was now down to £272,000.

The report said: “Feedback from our procurement team is that the supply market is becoming less challenging and is responding well to the demand.

“The reduction in some of the unit prices evidences this. Some items such as hand sanitisers are now easily available in supermarkets.”

The price of surgical masks has almost halved since April, from £1 to 56p each.

Between Monday 6 April and Friday 5 June, the council supplied almost a million items of PPE in response to more than 1,000 requests.

The report said that the Portal was offering a limited range of items at the moment but it was expected to reduce the care sector’s reliance on the council.

So far, the report added, the council had committed £1.8 million towards the cost of supplying PPE from the £16.2 million covid-19 emergency response fund.

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