Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the performance of (a) reusable respirator hoods designed at Southampton University, (b) reusable surgical gowns manufactured in Derbyshire and (c) other recent developments of reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) for NHS staff; for what reason reusable items of PPE have so far only been ordered by individual NHS trusts; and if he will make it his policy to allocate resources to the acquisition of adequate supplies of reusable PPE. 
[Due for Answer on 11 May. Answered on 18 May.]
HOLDING ANSWER: The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care (Jo Churchill): The Government’s personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance has been revised according to clinical guidance and clearly sets out that re-usable PPE can be used. Advice on suitable decontamination arrangements should be obtained from the manufacturer, supplier or local infection control.
Strategies for optimising the supply of PPE are being explored. Other countries have begun sterilising to decontaminate PPE. Public Health England, NHS England and the Health and Safety Executive are looking at these methods and are working at pace to assess the evidence base.