COVID-19 Updates and Support

Please contact Don Bowman if you have any supplies or donations you can provide for the NHS. Please see below regular updates and specific requests for resources.


Update 21-05-2020


Returning to the workplace document

A document on returning to the workplace after the COVID-19 lockdown has been written in association with CIPD, Mind, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network and ACAS. The document is for professionals to use to provide advice for employers and employees returning to work so that employers can manage risk alongside their legal obligations. It is subject to change depending on government announcements.


Travel Refunds


A number of UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) members are facing problems obtaining travel refunds, with some airlines being slow to respond or issuing vouchers or credit notes with no option to get cash refunds.

This is proving very challenging for a number of institutions particularly where the travel was paid for with grant funding.

As owners of the travel framework, SUPC is writing to the chair of the Business Travel Association (BTA) to request this is raised at their board meeting, highlighting the sector and the unique challenges it faces. LUPC is endorsing this action on behalf of its members, and the framework suppliers are being asked for their support.

An FAQ document has been produced to answer a number of questions that have arisen as a result of the near global shut down on travel.

You can also view a letter that a number of airline bodies are sending to the EU asking for a temporary amendment to the regulations surrounding refunds; and an airline refund proposal from the Business Travel Association to ensure that a fair and workable solution can be found.

If you have any further questions, please contact Joyce Kadri


Update  19-05-2020


Re-Shaping Your Procurement Strategy in Light of Coronavirus

VWV’s Stephanie Rickard has written an article looking at the issues, risks and opportunities for teams to consider when re-shaping their procurement strategies to mitigate the implications of coronavirus. Read it here.


Update 12-05-2020


*** The new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Clothing and Uniforms framework  is now available on HE Contracts for access by LUPC members.***


Update 11-05-2020


Member Guide:  Back to work supplies including buying PPE and associated products 


LUPC is working with the other sector consortia (UKUPC) to provide detailed information from our framework suppliers, identifying who can provide the products that will be required in the workplace. This exercise should be complete in the next week or so but, as we have been receiving requests from our members about this, we thought it might be useful to share the information we have at this stage.

You can download our "Back to Work" Supplies Guide here.

More information will follow over the next few days.


Update 30-04-2020


Our annual conference is online today with webinars on challenges and opportunities for UK Procurement during and after the COVID-19 Crisis and change management.


We will record all sessions on our presentations/webinars page, so those who are unable to join us can still benefit from the expertise being shared.


Update 29-04-2020


Please see the latest edition of Linked magazine for articles on managing in a crisis and working from home, as well as Commodity Updates. We also ask if a legacy of COVID-19 will be a reduction in emissions. Please complete our survey to shape the future of the magazine. We are not sending out a hard copy of the magazine due to lockdown.


Update 23-04-2020


Please see news story about how UKUPC can support your organisation



Urgent request for cisatracurium besilate


We have been sent the following request connected with the Covid-19 testing, if you can help, please reply to Don Bowman.


We are currently planning to test a number of batches of cisatracurium besilate solution for infusion. We will be using compendial test methods to perform this testing, however, due to potential delays in the delivery of the primary reference standards it would be helpful to know if laboratories have any cisatracurium besilate reference materials that we could acquire to support this testing. These do not need to be compendial standards, they could for example be reference materials/chemicals purchased from a commercial supplier such as Fisher or Sigma and which had an assigned potency. We would of course be happy to cover the cost of acquiring these materials.


Update 21-04-2020


Electronics Watch


Electronics Watch has created a section of its website to report on the impact of COVID-19 on workers in the electronics supply chain. It features a video about the impact on migrant workers in Malaysia and useful links. 


LUPC members are automatically affiliated to Electronics Watch.


Dawson Books


SUPC have provided confirmation that Dawson Books are not providing hardcopy books during the pandemic which will impact member orders and returns. Online services and eBooks will continue.



Update 15-04-2020


COVID-19 Impact Webinars


Over 150 members from the UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) took part in the COVID-19 Impact Webinars, the first ever delivered by LUPC and SUPC. The day’s programme focused on issues arising due to COVID-19, with the aim of providing much needed support and guidance to members during this particular time.

The morning session included three webinars delivered by legal services framework provider, VWV,  and covered guidance on PPN 01-20 and 02-20, force majeure, frustration and contract management and a VWV Q&A panel session. SUMS Consulting led the afternoon sessions with interactive presentations on successful change management and personal resourcefulness during COVID-19.


Feedback on the webinars has so far been positive, and we look forward to seeing the full survey responses so they can inform future events.


You can view the webinars on our new Presentations/Webinars page.



Guanidine Thiocyanate


We have been asked by Public Health England if any of our members can help with the supply of Guanidine Thiocyanate, to be used in COVID-19 testing. It needs to be of molecular biology grade.


We would also like to know if you have an extraction platform to extract virus from cells, manufactured by Thermofisher, which would be useful. Please contact Don Bowman if you can help.


Update 6-04-2020




We have received a request from a local hospital (near LUPC’s office) in Central London, asking if any furloughed staff could help the NHS by volunteering to help with their stores/stock control.

Please see the request below with the details. Contact Daniel directly and copy Don Bowman in if you or someone you know can help out.
Request details
I am reaching out to a number of London Universities to see if they would be able to support us with a volunteer workforce, this is due to the overwhelming changes we are having to undertake to ensure our frontline colleagues are provided with PPE on a daily basis. I have split the detail of the requirements we have, including numbers and skill set and commitment, required to help us.
  • Services to be provided: The main areas we are having issues with is the coordination and management of incoming and outgoing stock, and keeping an accurate daily track of stocks, numbers and usage across the UCLH sites, this is due largely to central government pushing stock to us in unknown quantities and frequencies and also what stock is actually being provided, we also have the added complication of an onsite PFI supply chain team who are overwhelmed and require supervision.
  • Skill set needed: Supply chain management and team management coordination, stock coordination, stock supervision and storage management.
  • Number of volunteers wanted: 10+
  • Time commitment: FT/PT – between 1-3 months
  • Location: ULCH sites next to Warren street and Euston Station – Main office site 4th Floor, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NF
Any help you can provide will be fully appreciated and if staff need any PPE we can provide for them as well, we just need to know sizes required for boots etc, plus we will provide medical PPE for anyone entering ward areas etc.
If you have any questions at all or feel you and your staff could help in way it would be very welcome.

Daniel Tagg, MCIPS

Deputy Director of Procurement – UCLH

Chair of London PSDN Board

Direct: 020 3447 8230 | Ext 78230 | Mobile 07793964368




Click here to find out how UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) have helped the NHS with vital supplies and procurement expertise.


Read TEC's statement on COVID 19


Please see links from IBISWorld, providing industry information during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Industry Insider  

An Industry Exposure Analysis Tool

If you have any questions regarding these links, contact Tom Baldwin. 


Update 2-4-2020


Please see guidance published by the Government on paying suppliers for contingent workers impacted by COVID-19.


Update 1-4-2020


Do you have 3D printing capability? The NHS needs you.

In response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is seeking to identify organisations which have 3D printing capability for safety equipment for NHS staff.

If your organisation has this capability, please could you get in touch with Biola Onanuga of Deloitte, who is working with the Department of Health and Social Care to source alternative supplies of Personal Protective Equipment for the NHS. The team is looking to ascertain the capacity of the sector at present, and is open to discussions around payment in due course. Biola can be contacted direct via email at

An initial focus for the team is face visor production; a sample specification is below:

Safety Glasses and/or visors

To provide eye protection, wrap around design to also provide sideways protection. Ability to be worn all day or for extended periods. Nose supports (universal) across bridge to provide adequate support. Lenses should provide general impact and splash protection (fluids). Polycarbonate is generally used for the shield which should  preferably be scratch resistant. BS EN 166:2002 Personal eye protection. Specifications. For visors this would include requirements for an adjustable head band arrangement.  Safety visors need to be fog free.  All products need to be latex free. All products must have their CE marking clearly evident on the product and/or packaging and must conform to the relevant directive: Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745 Any product that contains phthalates must be indicated on the packaging in accordance with: Medical Devices Regulation 2017/745. Personal Protective Equipment Directive 89/686/EEC.

Update 30-3-2020

Clarification of PPN 02 requested

The UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC) is seeking, on behalf of our members, further clarifications from the Cabinet Office on the scope and application of the Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 02 recently issued, concerning payments to suppliers. The questions below have already been received, but if you have any further queries please email by the end of 2 April 2020.

1.      Does this affect all suppliers or only UK-based ones?

2.      If we have just awarded business but not had delivery of business/service/product are these classed as ones we need to review? How do we calculate how much to pay to them when no payments have been made thus far?

3.      How can we obtain evidence to see if the company is also claiming relief and therefore should not be paid by ourselves?

4.      Does the PPN apply to Multi Academy Trusts and UTCs?

5.      How do we calculate the amount to pay? Average of last six months activities?

6.      Do we then arrange to adjust future invoices/payments to allow for the monies paid when they were not delivering a service/product? (treat it like a short term loan?)

7.      Is there a threshold, i.e for low value spend? Otherwise this is going to be a lot of administrative work

8.      Does this relate to all companies regardless of turnover?

9.      Does it relate to all suppliers or, for example, only those to whom you have outsourced your FM services i.e. ones with prior commitment of services?


Update 25-3-2020


Update your suppliers

Please let suppliers know your institution's arrangements for deliveries during this pandemic. Suppliers are reporting that this is affecting the delivery, receipt and return of goods.

As many items are fragile, costly and even perishable, members might have to pay for items that are stuck or lost as many Universities have closed down their Goods In facilities.


Update 24-3-2020

NHS Urgent Requirements

We are supporting the NHS in the identification of supply for their urgent requirements and have contacted members directly to see if their organisation can help. The specifications are;

Facemask specification

Personal Eye Protection specification

Respirator specification

Alcohol Hand Sanitiser Gel specification

Surgical Theatre Gown specification

We have also had the requests for the items below:

  • Protective eye gear (individual units)
  • Fluid repellent surgical masks
  • Long sleeve plastic aprons
  • Disposable Gloves -M
  • Disposable gloves- L
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Plastic shoe covers
  • Disposable hygienic bags (boxes)

Members should consider offering alternative options as well, if available ,as they may also be useful in protecting front line staff.  If members have any possibility of helping out with stock that may be in stores for laboratories, kitchens, estates or anywhere else, please email and


Update 23-3-2020


We have had requests from two NHS organisations for the following items, if members or suppliers can help with any of this, please contact Don Bowman directly:

  • 500ml or pump alcohol hand gels.
  • Small c. 50ml/75ml alcohol hand gels
  • Any suitable PPE
  • Clinell wipes
  • General hand sanitiser

Update 20-3-2020

Guidance for payment of suppliers during Covid-19

Update 18-3-2020

Government issues new procurement policy note


LUPC's support for our members

During these challenging times, we know that many of you will currently be involved in contingency planning at your institutions.

If we can support you and your teams during this difficult time, please get in touch.

You can find information below, with more to come.

LUPC Operations

We would like to reassure our members and suppliers that LUPC has a stringent business continuity policy so we can continue operating effectively regardless of any restrictions to normal business operations required during this COVID-19 pandemic.

All LUPC staff are working from home and can access work files remotely via the cloud using Office 365. Office phones have been set up to divert to our mobiles.

Supplier Updates

LUPC has worked with the other university purchasing consortia across the UK to collate responses from framework suppliers about the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of goods and services.

This spreadsheet includes information provided by each supplier along with a traffic light, colour coded risk level numbered 1-3. 1 being a low, and 3 being a high risk of supplies being affected.

LUPC will continue to monitor the situation and alert you via Twitter and the news section of our website with any updates.

Legal services

We have put together an update from our legal suppliers. For the very latest updates click on the link next to the supplier’s name.

Insurance and travel

An update on the Coronavirus outbreak has been provided to the LUPC Insurance Group (IG) by current brokers Gallagher with additional information and advice from the Group’s PA Travel insurer, RSA.


An update was emailed out from Category Manager, Mike Kilner, to LUPC's Computer Group on 16th March.


The following have been postponed until further notice:

Higher Education Risk and Insurance Symposium 22 April

One-day category event: Catering 19th May

One-day category event: Laboratory 23rd June

We will make a decision on all other events nearer the time. Please keep an eye on the events page of our website, where we will communicate any changes to planned events.


As we have postponed a number of face-to-face events, we are looking at providing our members with some webinar-type events which can be done remotely. Watch this space!

LUPC/SUPC Annual Conference 30 April

Further details on the delivery of this conference will be communicated shortly.

Useful resources

Members can find a list of digital resources that have been made available for free or with extended access here.

This has been compiled by the University of York. Please add to it if you can.

There are several resources available to members, extending beyond procurement, available on the following websites:

Best practice

We want to hear about any initiatives that you/your team have been involved in to keep things going. As this situation is likely to go on for some time, we are developing ways to maintain our network and continue to share best practice during this period of uncertainty. We will post any examples of good practice, support from our suppliers or calls for support on this page and send out through our networks, as we receive them.