THE Welsh NHS is in "a very strong position" in terms of its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the winter, according to boss Dr Andrew Goodall.

Speaking at Wednesday's Welsh Government press conference, Dr Goodall said the Welsh NHS had more than 181 million units of PPE in stock, with a further 300 million on order.

He added that by the end of November, the Welsh NHS should have a supply of PPE for 24 weeks.


"Our PPE supply chain is in a very good position at the moment," said Dr Goodall. "We have a responsibility to make sure that PPE is available to discharge a safe environment for our staff but of course to discharge safe care to our patients in all of our different settings.

"We have provided around 370 million items of PPE to date - about half of those in the social care sector.

"We currently have about 181 million items in stock, and we have over 300 million items on order.

"By the end of November, we expect to have 24 weeks supply, which will give us a really good supply, particularly on the critical items of support.

"If I can compare and contrast that with where we were earlier in this response, we did find some of our items getting down to just a few days worth of supply.

"Having 24 weeks really puts us in a very strong position for the winter."

Dr Goodall also addressed the lessons the Welsh NHS had learned from the initial outbreak earlier in the year.

Following recent coronavirus outbreaks in hospitals - including at the Royal Gwent Hospital - Dr Goodall explained how NHS Wales was looking to prevent further outbreaks.

"We have introduced Covid-light zones, or green zones, in hospitals, for emergency and planned admissions, and we are implementing enhanced infection control policies and practices, building on what we have learnt from the first wave earlier this year," he said.

"The NHS already has a very strong infection control process. We have to tighten within the hospital environment, particularly to make sure social distancing is being maintained.

"We have to enhance our cleaning procedures, but also it may lead to some suspension of services and hospital admissions."