Latest Updates on UK Government COVID-19 Contracts and Spending

Latest Updates on UK Government COVID-19 Contracts and Spending

Posted by Henry Thompson on 15 March 2023

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

Covid contracts

The total value of contracts awarded by the UK Government in response to Covid-19 is now:

£47.8 billion

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.

See how we uncovered these insights

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.

Covid_tracker_other-Mar-15-2023-12-26-06-3757-PMThe 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:

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 The Observer

Pressure grows for Covid inquiry to be fast-tracked

after Hancock WhatsApp leak

11th December 2022 The Times

The PPE Rich List: Covid firms unmasked

12th November 2021 Daily Mail

Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly 'is paid nearly £1,000 an

hour by firm that benefits from NHS Covid contracts'

28th March 2021 The Guardian 

High court to rule on legality of

Covid contracts for PM's 'chums'

17th December 2020 New York Times

Waste, Negligence and Cronyism:

Inside Britain’s Pandemic Spending

16th October 2020 FT

Ministers handed £280,000 Covid contract to

business of executive in voluntary public role

16th October 2020 The Guardian

Government spending on Covid consultancy

contracts rises to £175m

31st August 2020 Bloomberg

Big Four Firms Win $49.3 Million

in U.K. for Pandemic Advice

19th August 2020 Huffington Post

Revealed: Who Profited From The

Government’s Coronavirus Spending Boom

21st June 2020 BBC News

MPs to grill health officials on PPE spending

6th June 2020 The Times

£108m PPE contract was given to

small pest control company

15th May 2020 The Guardian

Firms given £1bn of state contracts

without tender in Covid-19 crisis

3rd April 2020 FT

NHS tracing app in question as experts

assess Google-Apple model

Download all the COVID-19 contract data

Click here to receive the data on all the COVID-19 response contracts published to date.

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.