During four long hours of testimony, Mr Hancock denied a national shortage of PPE and that any staff died because of it.
Pressure is mounting on Matt Hancock to resign as Health Secretary after “lying” to MPs about shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.
During four long hours of testimony, the Health Secretary insisted that there is no evidence of anyone dying due to a shortage of PPE.
Mr Hancock told fellow MPs that despite “local problems” there was “never a national shortage of PPE”.
He added; “We’ve looked into this and there’s no evidence I have seen that a shortage of PPE provision led to anybody dying of COVID-19. Now that is from the evidence I have seen.
“What I do know is that PPE provision was tight, and it was difficult throughout the world, but we did manage – it was pretty close sometimes- but we did manage to ensure that at a national level we had the PPE.”
Last night hundreds of health and social care workers took to social media to talk about PPE shortages in their areas.
One nurse told NursingNotes that she was forced to wear donated shower caps, reuse long-armed gowns and use visors that were made of bandages. He said; “If felt like we were in a third-world country, not in the UK. My colleagues were falling ill and even dying around us. There was nothing any of us could do.
She added; “Many of us resorted to buying our own PPE online at hiked up prices – just so our families didn’t have to plan our funerals.”
“It’s time Mr Hancock was held accountable for his actions, just like every healthcare worker would be. He should resign and a criminal investigation should be commissioned over his failings.
Reports during the time revealed frontline healthcare workers being provided with repurposed bin bags as aprons and PPE that was years beyond its expiry date.
The Health Secretary’s evidence prompted an angry response from Angela Rayner, Labour’s Deputy Leader, who said: “Matt Hancock is a liar and he is trying to rewrite history.
“That is why we need a public inquiry now to hold this lying charlatan to account for sending our NHS staff into intensive care units in bin bags and without PPE.”
Urgent Public Enquiry.
Nurses United, a grassroots campaigning group who worked alongside NursingNotes during the pandemic to track and report on staff deaths, accused Mr Hancock of trying to deceive MPs and called for an urgent public enquiry.
Anthony Johnson, lead organiser for the group, said in a statement; “Our world feels like we’re in an episode of Black Mirror. How can Matt Hancock deny the PPE shortage when we’ve all seen the photos of nurses wrapped in bin bags?
“We had to create a tool to deliver equipment to the frontlines because of the shortages – this was completed by staff from over 130 NHS trusts.
“We also had to create a memorial because the UK is a world leader in the numbers of health and social care staff who died.
“Matt Hancock does not get to re-write history and the families of those affected by his callousness deserve an apology. We must urgently bring forward the public inquiry so that this government’s wilful incompetence doesn’t put more lives at risk.”