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LONDON – The UK government has been accused of shunning smaller local manufacturers able to provide the NHS with personal protective equipment (PPE) in favour of big brands such as Burberry and Barbour.

Kate Hills of Make It British, a trade group in the UK, says: “The government is dragging its heels and it is really, really frustrating. We need to look at local suppliers and mobilise supply here.”

Only last Sunday, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the government “will not stop” to get PPE for healthcare professionals and insisted more than 42 million pairs of gloves and 142,000 gowns have thus far been distributed across the country. Still, Hills says that local hospitals are contacting factories directly, asking “can you make us anything, we are desperate for any protective equipment.”

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