An update on our work with the eBay NHS PPE portal

Monday November 16, 2020 | Posted at 8:50 am | By Paul Dicken
November 16, 2020 @ 8:50 am

A little over 5 months ago – and what seems like a lifetime in ecommerce and UK life – we blogged about the technology and expertise we’re contributing to the eBay-NHS initiative to set up a portal for healthcare providers to order the PPE they need for the pandemic. As we’re in the teeth of a second national lockdown, and not just in England, it seems like a good time to update you, which is the purpose of this post.

Volo’s ‘Origin’ platform manages the PPE listings, orders and integration into eBay. In addition to our technology, there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to set up the connections and manage the project.

In mid-July, Tamebay reported that the portal had shipped over 18.5 million items to 21,000 healthcare providers. By the end of September, eBay had committed to extend the portal to the end of March 2021, and we increased the capacity to process and deliver up to 200 PPE items per week.

Fast forward to the beginning of November and it’s clear that healthcare providers are ramping up their demands to see us through the immediate restrictions and the winter. So far, the portal has shipped 325 million items of PPE. In the last week alone, the week of 28th October to 3rd November, 51 million items were shipped.

40,000 providers have now registered on the PPE portal, which is a little over 70% of the 55,000 providers who have been invited to register. This breaks down into the following sectors, by numbers registered and their registration rate:

  • Care Homes: 11,700 (80% registration rate)
  • Domiciliary Care Providers: 7,100 (75%)
  • GP Practices: 6,000 (88%)
  • Dentists: 5,200 (74%)
  • Pharmacies: 6,650 (59%)
  • Optometrists 2,300 (57%)
  • (there are a few other small sectors too)

Over the last 3 months provider registrations and PPE orders have accelerated considerably. The registration percentage of invited providers has increased over 70% from its rate of 41% in mid-August. During the same time-frame, daily orders passing through the system has increased more than ten-fold, from 8,000 to around 85,000 per day.

We continue to donate our time and technology to this project free of charge. As you can probably imagine, we’re pleased to be associated with it and we’re delighted that it’s successfully delivering this essential service at scale to providers on the healthcare front line.


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