Scotland must ensure it does not enter into a bidding war with other parts of the UK for lifesaving equipment after pledging to continue its own drive for technology.

Politicians have urged the Scottish Government to work with Westminster on the procurement of ventilators and virus testing kits, rather than attempt to get its own.

It comes after NHS Wales and NHS England were found to be in a bidding war over vital machinery needed to tackle the virus pandemic, prompting Westminster to take over the handling of ventilators and testing kits for all of the four nations of the UK.

Confusion arose however when a Scottish Government spokesman yesterday dismissed claims that testing kits and breathing devices were being organised centrally, and insisted it was "simply untrue".

The spokesman maintained that the Scottish Government, along with NHS Scotland was obtaining their own essential devices.

Nicola Sturgeon has now been urged to ensure that by doing so, she is not creating a similar bidding war for the lifesaving gadgets.

The Welsh and Northern Irish authorities have confirmed they are relying on Westminster to obtain the devices on their behalf, and the Prime Minister's official spokesman reiterated this morning that the responsibility was with Downing Street.

He said that procurement was "being done centrally" adding "where the additional ventilators will go will be determined by medical need."

Today Nicola Sturgeon said during a press briefing that while Scotland was buying ventilators and testing kits, it would also be taking part in the UK Government scheme.

The First Minister told reporters: "The Scottish Government is doing our own procurement of ventilators and testing kits and capacity.

"On ventilators we have a number of orders in with different companies that are already manufacturers of ventilators, and we hope and expect to see those orders fulfilled in the coming weeks.

"I gave some information on that in Parliament yesterday. The same is true on testing. So that’s the case.

"Over and above that and in addition to that, we are taking part in four nation procurement, which the UK Government will lead on, both on ventilators and testing.

"I’ve spoken about a new testing laboratory that has been established in Glasgow and will become operational over the next couple of weeks.

"That is as part of a four nations approach - a commercial initiative to add increased testing capacity."

Ms Sturgeon's statement has prompted calls from opposition politicians for the Scottish Government to work together with Westminster, or potentially face another bidding war for the equipment similar to what happened between England and Wales.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservatives health spokesman said: "There is obviously confusion about how equipment is being procured for Scotland.

"The UK Government have been in constructive talks with the devolved administrations.

"We all want to make sure there is enough for everyone.

"If there is a separate scheme for Scotland, I would appreciate some clarity from the First Minister about how that will work.

"All the nations of the UK need to work together to fight coronavirus."

Monica Lennon, Scottish Labour's health spokeswoman said there should not be a "tug of war" over machines and vital equipment,

She said: "The approach from both the UK and the Scottish Government means we continue to lag behind the rest of the world on testing and contact tracing. The public are rightly losing patience and want clear answers from the Prime Minister and the First Minister.

“We are not making fast enough progress, and that’s why Scottish Labour has been urging Ministers to rapidly ramp up testing across the country and be more open about who is being tested and why.

“This should not be a tug of war between two governments about who is doing what – it’s vital that the right strategy is in place and that decisive action is taken to increase testing capacity and help save lives."

The Scottish Liberal Democrats health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton added: "This is not a time to see both of Scotland’s governments locking horns. After all, the Coronavirus crisis does not stop at any border. This is a time to work together, including with our European neighbours, to pursue all avenues to acquire lifesaving ventilators.

"The First Minister must set our her plans in that spirit.”

The Scottish Government did not respond directly when asked about how it would ensure it was not competing with Westminster over ventilators and testing kits, and instead referred to the First Minister's statement from today's press conference.