Dr Nagpaul said: “The Government has five tests it has said must be met to ease lockdown – the first of which is ‘making sure the NHS can cope’. Another key test is confidence that supplies of PPE are able to meet demand. Six weeks into this crisis, how can the Government be confident that these conditions are anywhere near to being met, or that the pandemic is under control, when the very people on the frontline are not being made safe?”

More than one in three (38 per cent) of hospital doctors said they had either purchased items of PPE themselves or received supplies as an external donation, compared to 55 per cent of GPs. Overall, 52 per cent said they hadn’t had to buy items themselves or rely on donations.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are working around the clock to ensure PPE is delivered as quickly as possible to those on the frontline of this global pandemic, and have delivered over 1 billion items since the outbreak began.

“There is a worldwide demand for PPE, and Lord Deighton is leading a national effort to  increase domestic production, scale up existing manufacturing and tap into new resources. In addition the Government has a significant international strategy to ensure we can continue to tap into the international supply chain.”

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