Responding to news that NHS staff are trying to source gowns and other PPE directly from UK textile manufacturers Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"For weeks we have been calling on the Government to sort out the supply of PPE. Yet still, despite constant reassuring messages from Ministers at daily press conferences, there is an acute shortage which is putting lives at risk.
"Instead of taking whatever action is required to source supplies, we have seen the Government act like a sulking child by refusing to join in EU procurement efforts to secure additional kit. Despite insisting they can do it alone, the Government has proven utterly incapable of coordinating production among UK manufacturers, many of whom are seemingly still waiting to receive clear direction.
"Meanwhile NHS trusts are resorting to trying to liaise with UK manufacturers directly to make up for the Government's failure.
"Public trust is not unconditional. As the same stories emerge again and again, nearly a month into lockdown, it's no surprise that many are now questioning whether Ministers are capable of getting a grip on the crisis at all."