The UK Government is embroiled in yet another PPE scandal. This time fifty million face masks bought in April will not be used in the NHS because of safety concerns.
The government says the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.
The masks were purchased for frontline NHS staff from supplier Ayanda Capital as part of a £252m contract.
According to the BBC, Ayanda says the masks met the specifications the government had set out. The government says its safety standards process is “robust”.
It is also alleged that the person who originally brokered the deal was a government trade adviser who also advises the Ayanda board of directors.
Rachel Reeves, Labour MP for Leeds West and Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster , went on Twitter where she said “The Conservative Government allowed the PPE stockpile to run down & then bought 50 million unusable masks from an offshore finance company with no history of providing NHS equipment. Our health workers were not fully protected. Tragically lives were lost.”
A government statement said: “Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline.
“Over 2.4 billion items have been delivered, and more than 30 billion have been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply, which meets the needs of health and social care staff both now and in the future.
“There is a robust process in place to ensure orders are of high quality and meet strict safety standards, with the necessary due diligence undertaken on all government contracts.”
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