Praise for PPE teams as Nottinghamshire Council approves Huthwaite warehouse closure

Nottinghamshire Council’s PPE teams have been praised as the authority plans to close them as it moves forward with its post-pandemic planning.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 12:31 pm

The council will launch a three-month programme to dissolve its personal protective equipment teams from next month, with both its warehouse in Huthwaite and workforce to be disbanded by June 30.

It comes as part of the Government’s Living with Covid plans, announced at the start of the year, which will see PPE supply for key services moved from the council to a national database.

The council’s teams have been supplying equipment to social care, health, education and other services since the start of the pandemic two years ago.

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Nottinghamshire Council will start stepping down its supply of PPE from next month.

Since then, the authority has dealt with more than 7,000 requests and distributed more than 2.5 million items.

But now the council has approved plans to step down its operations.

The Government’s post-pandemic strategy states PPE users currently sourcing equipment from the authority will be able to access it from the national portal, meaning the council’s service is no longer needed.

The authority will begin the three-month step-down from April.

It will also oversee the distribution and managing of excess stock in the council’s Huthwaite storage warehouse, with the warehouse to be decommissioned once the three-month window is over.

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The council has allocated £30,800 towards staffing costs for the three-month project.

A further £26,800 has been outlined for costs relating to the warehouse facility and the storage and distribution of PPE items.

Councillors approved the funds during the latest finance committee meeting.

Coun Mike Pringle, member for Ollerton, praised the council’s staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

He said: “Delivering 2.7 million items, it’s exceptional – but not only that, to prioritise those most in need and to forward plan for the items [we] have left is a knockout as far as I’m concerned.

“I think the council has got this absolutely right.”

Coun Andre Camilleri, who represents Mansfield South, said: “Hopefully we won’t need this amount of PPE in the future and this goes down to how hard this council has worked to handle what was a very difficult situation.”

Regarding the warehouse’s future, Kaj Ghattaora, council group manager for procurement, said: “We will be utilising it, it will either be let out, or we’ve got alternative options.”

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