Tuesday 7 September 2021 5:37 pm

DHG warns it will struggle to supply hospitals if driver shortages continue

A supplier of hospital beds has warned patients will suffer should delivery issues continue into this winter.

Healthcare manufacturing giant DHG has said the current issues with driver shortages pose a threat to healthcare services, particularly as colder months approach.

The company will struggle to maintain a continuous supply of medical devices to NHS sites should the supply chain disruption continue into the winter surge period, it said.

The manufacturer supplies more than 56,000 specialist mattresses each year to NHS Trusts and private facilities across the UK.

DHG boss Graham Ewart, CEO called for an urgent resolution after a “dramatic reduction” in supplies coming through to the firm’s Caerphilly plant, plus increased freight costs.

While the company had so far been able to quickly adapt to minimise impact, if the delays continue they will “undoubtedly begin to affect the provision of our services,” Graham said.

He added: “I am very concerned that the catastrophic combination of the lorry driver shortage, the pandemic and Brexit is taking a severe toll on the whole healthcare system. 

“If this level of disruption continues, and we are unable to maintain our continuous supply of beds, mattresses and apparatus, it’s not just our business, but ultimately the hospitals and therefore the patients who will suffer.”

Some scientific advisers have predicted that cases could hit 100,000 a day as school returns and autumn progresses.

However, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson has said reports of an October firebreak lockdown are “not true.”