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.
Click here to download all of the underlying COVID-19 contract award data collected by Tussell.
Last updated: 15th March 2023
The total value of contracts awarded by the UK Government in response to Covid-19 is now:
58% of this value has been awarded for products and supplies, while 41% 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 few large contracts have been published since then. The value of Test and Trace contracts has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the pandemic, overtaking PPE in April 2021 and continuing to rise beyond that reaching over £20 billion.
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.
Beyond the four major pillars
Among the contracts for supplies and services in categories beyond the four major pillars, we've seen a substantial value awarded for social and business support, which 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, managed quarantine services for travellers arriving from red list countries 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.
Who's leading the pack?
Our list of the top ten suppliers with the most coronavirus contracts suggests a heavy reliance on consultants, recruitment agencies, air freight companies, and more recently outsourcers to support the Government in its response to the virus.
Innova tops the list due to the purchase of lateral flow devices, with Full Support Healthcare Limited coming in second for supplying the DHSC with PPE.
Notable contracts published since our last update include:
NHS England published a £307mn (originally awarded in 2022) contract to Health Management Limited for Outpatient Healthcare Services.
Our data on the 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 100 citations from the media since April 2020.
Below are some news articles that feature Tussell's data and analysis.
|5th March 2023
|11th December 2022
|12th November 2021
|28th March 2021
|17th December 2020
|New York Times
|16th October 2020
|16th October 2020
|31st August 2020
|19th August 2020
|21st June 2020
|6th June 2020
|15th May 2020
|3rd April 2020
Download all the COVID-19 contract data
Please note that the UK Government regularly updates contract award information, including retrospective awards, so this data is subject to change and is accurate up to the date of our last update.