No surgical gowns in Welsh Government's PPE pandemic stockpile

It has emerged that the Welsh Government's pandemic stockpile did not contain any surgical gowns prior to the outbreak of coronavirus in Wales.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething had previously said gowns were included in the pandemic stockpile, however the First Minister confirmed in a letter to Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price that it was not the case.

The stockpile included eye protectors - 1.488m frames and 1.658m lenses, 5.7m face masks and 4.8m gloves.

But the letter confirms “gowns were not included in the pandemic stockpile”.

When asked about the admission in Wednesday's First Minister's Statement, Mark Drakeford said "we have managed to deal with the pandemic in Wales without ever having to tell the NHS in Wales that there wasn't a supply of the gowns that were needed."

As a result of contact by the Welsh NHS and by the Welsh Government, we have been able to bring half a million gowns in through Cardiff Wales Airport, with which we have been able to help supply other parts of the United Kingdom in dealing with what is, indeed, a shortage item during the coronavirus crisis.

Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister
Credit: PA

The lack of PPE has been a source of great concern to front line health and care workers and the stock of surgical gowns in particular have been a problem.

Adam Price MS, Plaid Cymru leader