Arco branches out after winning £53m PPE contract

Arco branches out after winning £53m PPE contract

Hull-based health and safety company Arco has won a £53m contract to supply millions of pieces of PPE to the NHS Scotland. This means a total of 232 million surgical masks, six million respirator masks and two million visors will be supplied over a one-year period.

The PPE will be made locally in partnership with Scottish manufacturer Alpha Solway and will not be dependent on an oversees supply chain, which could be at risk of the restrictions seen during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

A stock of more than four million respirator masks and 3,000 pallet spaces are set to be built in the Arco National Distribution Centre in Hull, which will be continually turned over to keep products in date and the stock levels maintained. This will allow Arco to respond quickly to any future major incidents following 2020’s pandemic.

The company’s recent investment programme in its £30m national distribution centre expansion gave it both the capacity and enhanced customer service requirements to fulfil the contract and its distribution network to help ensure that it will be possible to get PPE quickly to those who need it most.

Scotland’s Health and Social Care will also benefit from support from Arco experts who sit on a number of key committees such as BSI British Standards, CEN European Standards Committee and the ISO International Standards Organisation – to help keep abreast of any industry developments.

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Part of the contract will see Arco working with a team in Scotland to co-ordinate a face fit testing programme on the new masks for more than 100,000 respiratory protective equipment wearers. The aim is to develop a new mask for 2021 that will meet the requirements of the wearer in terms of comfort and fit, using the face fit data.

Bryan Lawrie, commercial director at Arco commented, “It is now more important than ever to ensure that the PPE reaching the end of user is compliant and offers the correct protection for its purpose.

“As safety experts, with a wealth of experience and expertise in procuring PPE, including our own independent product testing facility, we are perfectly placed to fulfil this commitment.

“We are delighted to be working with NHS Scotland and look forward to establishing this long-term relationship by guaranteeing the supply of certified products, helping to save lives.”

Stephen Binnie, a director of Alpha Solway, added, “We are delighted to be working with Arco to supply this order, and that our partnership has allowed us to fulfil this vital contract for NHS Scotland.

“Not only are we meeting a large proportion of the Scottish health and social care sector’s PPE needs until 2021, but we are also creating 200 jobs in the region, in addition to the 50 jobs already created this year.”

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