Tussell has been tracking UK Government contracts and spending in response to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic to provide the latest insights. Scroll down for a summary of the data or download all of the underlying COVID-19 contract award data by entering your details at the bottom of this page.
Last updated: 21 July 2021
The total value of contracts awarded by the UK Government in response to Covid-19 is now:
63% of this value has been awarded for products and supplies, while 36% was dedicated to procuring services.
The contracts can be grouped into four major categories: contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) that include the provision of masks, gloves and gowns; contracts for suppliers to the Test and Trace Programme that include a range of provisions, from coronavirus tests and testing services, to the development of the NHS COVID-19 app; contracts for hospital supplies, including medicines, hospital beds and ventilators, and finally vaccines, which includes the logistics around the vaccine programme as well as some raw materials for production.
It is important to note that the vaccine supply contracts with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and others were all published with a notional value of £1.
The number of contracts for PPE and hospital supplies surged during April, May and June 2020 but have been tapering off since the summer. The contracts for the Test and Trace Programme slowly increased from April to September 2020 and started to climb rapidly again in October 2020. The value of Test and Trace contracts had exceeded that of PPE however in June 2021 NHS Supply Chain published 51 contracts that were awarded in April 2020. All of these new contracts were for PPE and had a combined value of £4.3bn, making PPE the most valuable category again.
The largest published award in the vaccine category has been the UK's participation in the COVAX scheme which the government committed £71m to in October. This scheme has helped get vaccine doses to some of the poorest countries in the world.
Contract notices are published after they have been awarded, sometimes with a significant delay. Our charts based on the award date are subject to change in light of the most up-to-date information.
Among the contracts for supplies and services in categories beyond the three major pillars, we've seen a substantial value awarded for social and business support, that includes temporary accommodation for the homeless, expenses related to shielding vulnerable groups, school meals and some COVID grant schemes that have been published. A range of the contracts were awarded to companies supplying connectivity and technology services and another portion for consultancy, marketing and research.
The bulk of contracts were awarded by the Department of Health and Social Care, mostly for PPE and Test and Trace.
Among the top suppliers receiving the largest share of the coronavirus contract value were suppliers of PPE and test kits, and private healthcare providers easing the pressure on the NHS.
The vaccine programme was administered on a more local level with regional authorities paying for signage and targeted hesitancy campaigns.
Our list of the top ten suppliers with the most coronavirus contracts suggests a heavy reliance on consultants, air freight companies, and more recently lawyers to support the Government in its response to the virus.
Notable contracts published since our last update include:
- NHS Supply Chain published 51 PPE contracts awarded back in April 2020, the largest of these being worth £1.7bn awarded to Full Support Healthcare Limited.
- The Northern Irish Department for Communities published a contract with 10 suppliers to provide employability training for people affected by the pandemic, in total worth £720m.
- The ONS published a £710m contract with Iqvia to help run their COVID infection survey.
Learn more about the Government's COVID-19 response
Download historic reports from our research team covering the coronavirus pandemic. These provide further analysis of the type of contracts awarded and the departments responsible for the procurement.
Value of Government Covid-19 contracts exceeds £4bn - 4th July 2020
Public sector awards £1.7bn in Covid-19 response contracts - 4th June 2020
Tussell's data on Government's COVID-19 response in the press
If you need Tussell's support to shed light on a particular area of public sector contracts or spending on the pandemic, please contact our press team.
We've played a vital role in helping the press and the public better understand the government's response to the pandemic, with more than 50 citations from the media since April 2020.
Below are some news articles that feature Tussell's data and analysis.
|28th March 2021||The Guardian|
|17th December 2020||New York Times|
|16th October 2020||FT|
|16th October 2020||The Guardian|
|31st August 2020||Bloomberg|
|19th August 2020||Huffington Post|
|21st June 2020||BBC News|
|6th June 2020||The Times|
|15th May 2020||The Guardian|
|3rd April 2020||FT|
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