Dame Andrea Leadsom is to ask Government ministers about what plans are in place to ensure that the UK is no longer over-reliant on cheap imported personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Conservative MP was speaking on a visit to the Medicom factory in her South Northamptonshire constituency, which is producing millions of medical masks for the NHS.
She said: “This is a highly impressive facility, which is playing a vital role in ensuring that the UK has what we need to protect our health workers.
“It’s important that the UK isn’t dependent on imported PPE, which isn’t necessarily of the same quality and whose transport has a major environmental impact. The security of the supply chain is essential. I’ll be writing to ministers to seek their view.”
Around 250 new jobs have been created at the factory by Medicom, a manufacturer of PPE. The facility has been developed by the global Canada-based group, following an agreement with the UK government to provide more than half a billion masks for the NHS.
A major factor in the deal has been helping to ensure supplies, at a time of unprecedented demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dame Andrea added: “The creation of new local jobs is always welcome. On a wider level, this major investment by a multi-national company is an example of the global opportunities the UK can pursue after leaving the EU.”
The Northampton factory is already producing more than 1.5 million face masks a day under Medicom’s Kolmi brand. The hi-tech facility features a clean room covering more than 20,000 square feet, where two types of mask are made in carefully controlled conditions.
Mrs Leadsom was given a tour of the factory by Hugues Bourgeois, the Managing Director of Medicom in the UK.
Mr Bourgeois said: “We have made this big commitment because we believe in the NHS and strengthening PPE production in the UK. We’re very grateful to Mrs Leadsom for her support.”