Government ‘failed to prepare’ on PPE and lacks a second wave strategy, conclude MPs

DHSC disputes the claims and has remained insistent that the NHS holds and distributes a large PPE stock. 

Matt Bodell
9 July 2020
PPE

MPs say they are “extremely concerned” about ongoing issues with PPE.

Ministers have concluded that the Government failed to tackle the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff with “sufficient urgency”.

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In a damning report, the Public Accounts Committee said it was “extremely concerned” about ongoing issues with PPE.

Only last week the British Medical Association (BMA) revealed that health and social care workers were still be forced to rely upon faulty and out of date equipment.

The committee has now called for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to explain how it can ensure an adequate supply of PPE within the sector in preparation for a second wave.

Committee chair Meg Hillier commented; “The Government conducted a large pandemic practice exercise in 2016 but failed to prepare.

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“The previous committee warned on the lack of plans to ensure access to medicines and equipment in the social care sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but, again, the Government failed to prepare.

“There must be total focus now on where the problems were in procurement and supply in the first wave and on eradicating them.’

DHSC disputes the claims and has remained insistent that the NHS holds and distributes a large PPE stock.

A spokesperson for DHSC said; “We do not accept these claims. We have been working around the clock to deliver PPE to the frontline throughout this global pandemic, working with industry, the NHS and the armed forces to create a distribution network to supply more than 58,000 settings.

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‘Two billion items of PPE have now been delivered and almost 28 billion items have been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply, which will meet the future needs of health and social care staff.’

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