Face masks and protective equipment meant to have been delivered to Wiltshire public health officials today will not arrive for another fortnight, a county MP claimed.

Dr Andrew Murrison, who worked as a locum GP in Wiltshire before becoming South West Wiltshire’s MP, made the shock announcement as the House of Commons debated the new coronavirus bill.

Speaking after former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, a Surrey MP, the member for Trowbridge and Westbury said: “Does my right hon. Friend share my dismay at my being told just now that masks and PPE that were meant to be delivered to my authority, Wiltshire, tomorrow, will now be delivered on 9 April?

“I am not sure what the situation is in Surrey, but that seems extraordinary.

“Does he also agree that it has to be the right PPE—it cannot simply be a paper face mask from B&Q, as we heard earlier?

“It needs to be appropriate, and people need to know how it works.

“When they wear it, they are likely to have to work harder, because wearing PPE is not easy or straightforward.”

Mr Hunt replied: “My right hon. Friend knows, as a clinician— and I am concerned—that in our desire to get PPE out we have not understood the vital role that local authorities play in this. Residents in care homes are extremely vulnerable, and their carers need that equipment, so I very much support his concern about that.”

Wiltshire Council’s leader Philip Whitehead told BBC Wiltshire his chief executive had said on Monday the council’s PPE order had been diverted elsewhere. “We use PPE for our care staff,” he told presenter Ben Prater.

Doctors across the country have complained about the lack of personal protective equipment, with clinicians forced to use paper surgical masks instead of respirator masks.

The Telegraph reported this weekend that staff at one London hospital were wearing blue bin bags fashioned into makeshift overalls to protect themselves.