The government has called for a grip on PPE stocks as half of the suppliers are unsuitable

According to a report by the National Audit Office, the Department of Health and Social Care is still grappling with issues relating to nearly 10,000 Covid contracts issued to purchase around 38 billion items of PPE

At least 1.5 billion stored items have now passed their sell-by date
At least 1.5 billion stored items have now passed their sell-by date

Boris Johnson has been accused of creating a “culture of nepotism and waste” as it emerged billions of taxpayer dollars were being spent on PPE that front-line workers could not use.

The National Audit Office says more than half of the suppliers awarded contracts through the Fast Track stream, where firms could be recommended by government officials, ministerial offices, MPs, NHS senior staff and other health professionals, were unsuitable items had been delivered.

The PPE was deemed unsuitable because it would take too long to assemble, concerns about modern slavery, or lack of papers.

According to a report by the NAO, the Department of Health and Social Care is still grappling with issues relating to nearly 10,000 Covid contracts created to purchase around 38 billion items of PPE. two years after the pandemic.







Prime Minister Boris Johnson
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

At least 1.5 billion items in stock are now past their sell-by date and the government is being billed millions of pounds for storing that PPE – far longer than expected.

The Tories have been told to “get a grip” on their PPE stockpiles.

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said: “Unusable masks, gowns, goggles and gloves that our key frontline workers sorely needed during the pandemic are now literally going up in flames, along with billions of taxpayers’ money that has been spent on them .

“Ministers have a duty to deliver value and results when spending the public’s money, but Boris Johnson has created a culture of nepotism and waste throughout his government.”







Clinical staff wear personal protective equipment at the Royal Papworth Hospital in May 2020
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REUTERS)

A DHSC spokesman said: “Our priority during the pandemic has been to save lives and we have shipped over 19.1 billion items of PPE to frontline workers to keep them safe.

Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said: “The numbers are staggering – over 30 billion items of PPE have been received so far, with another five billion on the way and 3.6 billion items unused by frontline services can become.

“It has cost over £700m to store alone and DHSC continues to spend £7m a month storing PPE it doesn’t need.”

She added: “Whatever taxpayer forbearance may have been at the outset of the pandemic will quickly wear off if the DHSC cannot deal with the fallout now.

“The Department urgently needs to get its PPE holdings under control and focus on protecting value for taxpayers. It must recover contract costs where possible, get rid of unusable PPE and reduce expensive inventory.”

A DHSC spokesman said: “Our priority during the pandemic has been to save lives and we have shipped over 19.1 billion items of PPE to frontline workers to keep them safe.

“Faced with an unpredictable and dangerous virus, it was preferable to have too much PPE rather than too little as it was essential to keep our NHS open and to protect as many people as possible.

“When contracts are disputed, we try to recover costs from suppliers and we expect to recover significant amounts of taxpayers’ money.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/government-told-get-grip-over-26587706 The government has called for a grip on PPE stocks as half of the suppliers are unsuitable

Fry Electronics Team

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