When the Army, NHS and Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) came calling, looking for a partner to build a platform to distribute PPE across the nation, eBay immediately stepped up to the plate to deliver an eBay NHS Portal in record time. It was announced in today’s Government Coronavirus briefing by General Sir Nicholas Carter standing alongside First Secretary Dominic Raab.
The new eBay NHS Portal to supply PPE to non-acute health providers will provide primary care and social care providers with access to PPE for free at the point of order from NHS Supply Chain and already 42,000 pieces of PPE have been delivered in the pilot phase.
This is of course eBay’s expertise, but it’s an area the NHS are lacking. Accustomed to delivering PPE to hospitals, they simply didn’t have the logistics (thank you to the Armed Forces), the distribution (thank you Clipper and Royal Mail) and the technology (thank you eBay) in place to deliver to maybe 50,000 care providers across the country. It’s immensely encouraging to see what’s often been dubbed ‘The Worlds Favourite Marketplace’ step up in the UK’s hour of need, bringing their incredible expertise to support our NHS.
Within a days of eBay being enlisted to support the NHS, a bespoke eBay NHS Portal had been created, which allows an NHS database of healthcare workers to log in and ‘order’ for a limited range of non-acute PPE via the NHS Catalogue. The PPE items are being supplied by NHS Supply Chain via the Clipper Group and despatched via Royal Mail.
“We are hugely grateful to frontline staff working tirelessly to save lives across the country, and it is absolutely vital they receive the PPE they need.
Since the start of the outbreak, we’ve delivered over a billion pieces of PPE to the frontline, but we recognise more still needs to be done.
This is why I’m delighted to be partnering with eBay to pilot a new online portal which offers an additional route for health and social care workers to access PPE.”
– Jo Churchill, Health Minister
The eBay NHS Portal pilot is now in the final stage of testing and is being reviewed on a daily basis, and will be scaled in phases to ensure technical updates can be applied ‘in real time’. The portal uses eBay Marketplace technology that has been developed over 25 years of connecting buyers and sellers, and which is used in the UK alone by 300,000 small and medium sized businesses.
“We were asked by the NHS and other partners to deliver technical expertise and resources to address the pressing issue of PPE supply. eBay software engineers from around the world, including at our sites in Portland in the US, Berlin in Germany and here in the UK, have been working round the clock to get this live and I’m delighted that we are now up and running with the pilot. It’s important that we all do what we can to help the NHS at this critical time, we are excited to be a part of this.”
– Rob Hattrell, Vice President, eBay UK
eBay’s role is to build the platform to allow NHS bodies to request it, and is providing this service free of charge to the NHS.