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1/2 billion PPE items delivered via eBay NHS PPE Portal

By Chris Dawson December 3, 2020 - 12:27 pm

News is out that the NHS PPE portal that eBay built has now delivered over 1/2 a billion PPE items across the country. It’s now shipping a staggering 57-58 million PPE items every single week.

eBay have overseen the ordering of PPE items to over 44,000 different locations covering just about every type of medical and care setting imaginable. This includes 13,000 different care homes, over 6,000 dental surgeries and more than 6,000 GP Practices.

Of course eBay couldn’t do this all on their own, the team has included hundreds of people from across DHSC and the military, Clipper, Unipart, VOLO, Royal Mail, eBay and others who have all played their part in building and maintaining the software solution and logistics infrastructure as well as managing the flow of orders for PPE items and getting them out of the door.

You might wonder why an NHS PPE Portal was needed – surely care providers have PPE anyway? The answer is that the PPE portal can be used by social care and primary care providers to get critical COVID-19 PPE that they are required to use over and above what would have been used before the pandemic. Unusual times call for stricter protection than would normally be needed and getting tens of millions of items shipped seven days a week needed a new emergency solution, and so eBay stepped up to build one.

It’s a mammoth operation and the country owes a debt of gratitude to all involved – Let’s not forget that at the start of the pandemic many health and care settings were on the verge of running out of PPE and there was very little time for planning – this solution had to be built on the fly and able to scale immediately to handle millions of line items every day. The aim was for every NHS primary care provider, including community pharmacy, dentists, orthodontists, general practice and optometrist, to be able to register on the PPE portal and receive the PPE items they needed to protect themselves from Coronavirus free of charge.

eBay not only stepped up to build and maintain the NHS PPE Portal but did everything for free to support the UK in it’s hour of need.

“It was a privilege to be able to use eBay technology to help the at the peak of the pandemic, and while I would not have predicted that the portal would end up being a primary channel for PPE delivery – serving thousands of customers every day – it’s been amazing to be able to collaborate with DHSC and other partners on this.

This project highlights some of the key traits of eBay platform: simplicity, flexibility, and importantly security. It was crucial for us to bring these together, to allow transactions to happen in a very secure environment, while at the same time being as intuitive as possible for multiple users across the healthcare spectrum.”
– Paolo Levoni, COO, eBay UK

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