At Ms Sturgeon’s daily briefing, she promised to seek urgent clarity on reports that Scottish care homes were being given a lower priority for supplies of personal protective equipment. Claims of PPE priority for England surfaced on Monday and came from Donald Macaskill, the head of Scottish Care, which is the body representing private care homes in Scotland. He told BBC Radio Scotland the UK’s four largest suppliers had said they were not sending to Scotland and instead prioritising “England, the English NHS and then English social care providers”.
Ms Sturgeon promised to seek urgent clarity on reports that Scottish care homes were low priority
Andrew Neil mocked the First Minister of Scotland and tweeted: “Nicola Sturgeon told GMB that she accepts assurances that NHS England did not demand PPE suppliers give preference over Scotland.
“I think we can all agree The National has its page one splash for tomorrow (not!).”
One Twitter user replied to Mr Neil: “How about highlighting the lack of PPE UK-wide, also for care homes, carers who visit people’s homes, transport workers, supermarket workers, teachers, emergency services?”
Jamie Greene, Scottish Conservative MSP for West Scotland tweeted: “They’re still spouting the story, contrary to the language now being used by the FM, Health Secretary, and Clinical Director.
“If you’re going to manufacture a grievance, at least coordinate it. Even their target audience is boring of the needless (dangerous) scaremongering.”
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke to health ministers from different UK nations on Tuesday afternoon and insisted it had not instructed any company to prioritise PPE for one nation over the others.
A spokesman added: “Through this four nation approach, we’re working closely with the devolved administrations to coordinate the distribution of PPE evenly across the UK.”
The suggestion of PPE being diverted to England from Scotland has been dismissed by the Scottish government’s clinical director.
Prof Jason Leitch, speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, said: “We have looked into it and we think it’s rubbish.
“So the companies, and our colleagues at NHS England yesterday when we spoke to them, said it wasn’t true.
“There’s another element of this, though, that the English route for PPE is one of three routes that Scotland has access to PPE from.
“So we are in a four-country fight against this virus. Honestly, people might not believe me, but that four-countries’ fight is pretty aligned.”
In Scotland PPE comes from three sources; UK-wide procurement, individual orders from overseas
and PPE made in Scotland.
Prof Leitch admitted there had been some issues in getting supplies distributed, in particular to those care homes that had not needed PPE in the past.