eBay has been drafted in by the NHS to build a dedicated portal on its website from which healthcare workers across the UK can order personal protective equipment (PPE).

The online retailer has partnered with teams across the NHS supply chain, the Department of Health & Social Care and the Army to create a new online portal to allow primary and social care providers to order PPE directly from the NHS.

The portal, which is currently being piloted, allows healthcare workers on the NHS database to order a range of PPE items. The platform is going to be scaled up in phased stages to ensure technical updates can be embedded in real time.

eBay’s UK boss Rob Hattrell said: “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.”