SCOTLAND’S Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has written to her Westminster counterpart asking for clarification on reports that firms selling vital PPE to care homes had been told not to deal with Scotland or Wales.

The First Minister said earlier that such reports were “extremely concerning” and if care homes were being affected this would be “unacceptable”.

The reports, sparked by comments from Scottish Care chief executive Donald Macaskill, sparked a row when national clinical director Jason Leitch said they were “rubbish” – but on firm said on its website it had been instructed not to sell to Scotland or Wales.

READ MORE: PPE row firm denies 'discriminating' against 'lovely' Scots clients

The company Gompels HealthCare said online that the criteria excluding Scotland and Wales had been given to them by Public Health England.

They wrote: “We have been told that there are alternative arrangements in place for Wales and Scotland, but we have not been able to find out what they are.

“The criteria was given to us by Public Health England @PHE_uk. Please don't think we're discriminating against our lovely, loyal Welsh/Scottish customers.”

The National:

Now Freeman – who said she wanted to raise the issues with Matt Hancock in a planned phone call which was then cancelled – has called for solid answers from the Department of Health.

She wrote to thank him for changing his plans and joining the four-nations health ministers call, and said she was grateful for assurance that neither Public Health England nor the Department of Health had required existing supplies of PPE to Scotland’s care sector to be diverted.

But she pointed to Gompels web claim that they are unable to supply Scottish and Welsh care homes, adding: “I’m sure you will see the contradiction and potential difficulty here.”

She went on: “It may be the result of a misunderstanding by the company but I’d be most grateful if you could look into and resolve this matter so that this company which is a supplier to care homes in Scotland can continue to do so.”

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