PPE Exchange supports front line workers through pandemic

New free to use and join service ‘PPE Exchange’ connects millions of items of PPE with those who need it most

  •  An estimate of up to 50 million pieces of PPE have already been exchanged through the service.
  • A staggering 265 million pieces of PPE are currently available on the site with a national requirement of 69 million pieces of PPE needed for carers.
  • It comes after dozens of British companies have reached out to the government offering to provide PPE to frontline NHS staff but are struggling to find a way to distribute it to those who need it most.
  • 856 buyers including care homes and care firms and 957 suppliers have now signed up to the service.

An innovative new service ‘PPE Exchange’ has launched with the sole aim of connecting suppliers of PPE with those working on the frontline. The free to use service has seen a huge success in connecting PPE Suppliers with care services, home care providers and NHS Trusts, despite only launching a fortnight ago.

The site has over 69 million items of PPE registered by our buyers yet a staggering 265 million items has been registered by our suppliers. This figure is almost 4 times greater than our site’s registered national average suggesting the problem lies in the lack of knowledge on how to distribute PPE, and not on the shortage of equipment.

Peter Fahy, Director of Adult Services at Coventry City Council and Covid-19 PPE Lead for West Midlands Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said “One of the biggest challenges facing the social care sector during COVID has been accessing PPE. The work that Shoothill have done in rapidly designing, building and launching an online portal to match up that demand with suppliers of PPE has been a lesson to us all in the value of innovation and the ability of technology to start to solve seemingly intractable problems.”

PPE Exchange allows key and frontline workers across the independent, voluntary and public sectors to post their requirements on the website, which are then fulfilled by manufacturers and suppliers of vital safety equipment like gloves, visors and aprons.

Rod Plummer, Managing Director of Shoothill, the software specialists who, together with their partners PPEx, launched PPE Exchange, said “We understood that there was a national crisis when it came to PPE Shortage and that we had the software capabilities to launch a service that could help save lives. We got the site up and running in a matter of days and since then we have been inundated with requests for PPE.”

Iain Mackinnon, PPEx’s director who also chairs Grosvenor Health and Social Care, said “the PPE situation at Grosvenor, like almost all others in social care, required an urgent solution. I contacted Shoothill, our partners from a previous project, to explain my thoughts which led to the development of PPE Exchange.”

Mobilising PPE to get to the frontlines is essential to ensure the safest possible working conditions and critically slow the wave of infection. Time is of the essence, with shortages and bottlenecks putting more and more people at risk. every effort is needed to tackle these shortages.

Darren Stapelberg Chief Operating Officer, Grosvenor Health and Social Care, the 3rd largest provider of home care visits in the UK, said

“We are pleased to report on the success we’ve had from PPE Exchange. Operating from 74 locations throughout England, Wales and Scotland, we deliver care to over 8,500 Clients in over 190k episodes of care per week and the unprecedented nature of this virus has meant all our existing PPE relationships and supply chains have been exhausted.

We were struggling to find any suppliers that could accommodate our volume of orders, but PPE Exchange has allowed us to be matched with a number of suppliers and we’ve bought 10,000 face masks, 2,000 visors, 100,000 gloves and have also purchased and are waiting for delivery of 250,000 aprons”

With time being of the essence now and for the foreseeable future if shortages and bottlenecks can be eliminated, new alternative suppliers sourced and connections made it will in the end save lives.

On their nomination, Simon Jeavons, Chief Operating Officer & Director said:

“It’s a real boost for Shoothill to be nominated as this month’s Chamber Champion as we have been working flat out for weeks now to ensure that PPE Exchange gets PPE to where it’s most needed, so receiving recognition this way, and during the Covid 19 crisis itself is fantastic”