Tag Archives: PPE

Now the Tories have given £240 million to a firm linked to religious extremists for PPE

It’s only money: Boris Johnson has no problems with handing over fistfuls of our cash to rich religious extremists. His problem is using it to help poor people. And were the contracts even honoured?

After all the criticism for awarding major contracts to firms run by their friends, you’d expect the Tories would have gone back to competitive tendering for their biggest PPE contract.

Not a bit of it!

Instead, they gave nearly a quarter of a billion pounds – for the supply of full-body overalls – to a firm founded and run by leading members of a hardline, conservative religious sect which preaches that the outside world is morally corrupting, according to Byline Times.

Unispace Global Health was also awarded a £103.7 million contract for the supply of examination gloves. Among the contracts so far revealed by the Tory government, these two represent the largest amount of taxpayer cash handed to a single firm for the supply of PPE during the Covid-19 crisis.

One of the firm’s bosses is linked to the world leader of the Exclusive Brethren, a subset of the Plymouth Brethren, who avoid contact with non-Brethren as much as possible, because the outside world is morally corrupting.

Apparently their ideology finds a way to allow commerce with the “morally corrupting” outside world, though.

Perhaps the Tories agree with their worldview. After all, “morally corrupt” seems an apt description of their procurement strategy.

And, was the contract even honoured? I seem to recall a lot of concern over the lack of PPE during April and May, when these contracts were awarded.

Source: Government Awards £240 Million PPE Deal to Firm Linked to Religious Sect – Byline Times

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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Tory corruption? Party supporters get £180m of OUR money to supply PPE. But will they?

Michael Gove: this minister (who once got caught making a joke about rape on the radio, by the way) is in charge of handing out procurement contracts for PPE. They seem to be going to his friends but we’re being told it’s all perfectly fair and above-board.

You’d think the Tories would have learned their lesson after Liz Truss was caught handing £150 million to a Board of Trade crony for face masks that don’t work.

But no – the UK’s corrupt-to-the-core Tory government won’t learn because it will never face any consequences.

So Tory ministers have handed a further £180 million of our cash to supporters of their political party, on the grounds that it is paying for more PPE (personal protective equipment) that will be used to help treat people with Covid-19.

Will it arrive? I don’t know. If it does, will it work? I doubt it.

Seven contracts – worth £65 million alone – were handed to businessman David Meller’s firm Meller Designs.

Not to be confused with the former Tory minister David Mellor, this Tory donor handed £65,000 to the Tories over the last 10 years, so the contract represents a markup of 1,000 times his outlay.

How did he get his contract to provide gowns, gloves, masks and hand sanitiser? Well, he provided thousands of pounds’ funding for Michael Gove’s failed Tory leadership bid and Gove is now in charge of PPE procurement but perhaps you see no connection there.

According to the government, ministers are not involved in the selection process because there is a “robust” system to ensure that orders are of high quality and meet safety standards.

That’s what they said about Ms Truss’s friend and his face masks, wasn’t it?

Some members of the public are sceptical about the Tories’ protests:

Are the Tories still using emergency powers to avoid scrutiny of these contracts?

If so, I would have thought the emergency was over.

There’s certainly grounds for suspicion of foul play; the firms themselves may say they submitted their tenders in good faith but the Tory decision-making process deserves scrutiny.

But we know what they’ll say:

First it’ll be “now is not the time”, and then it will be “it’s all in the past”. Consequence-free.

Source: Tory backers ‘handed £180m worth of contracts’ to supply the Government with PPE – Mirror Online

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Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills.

Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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Tories STILL have no strategy to provide PPE in coming second wave of Covid-19

Back to improvisation: the UK’s medics will be forced to resort to cobbling together their own weak imitation of protective equipment in the second wave of Covid-19, if Boris Johnson has his way.

The UK government does not have a clear strategy to acquire and distribute the equipment needed to protect clinical and care workers in a second wave of coronavirus, parliament’s spending watchdog has warned.

Here‘s The Guardian:

The public accounts committee on Wednesday insisted that ministers should return after the summer with a detailed explanation of how they plan to stock the NHS and care sector with gowns, masks, eye protection and gloves.

MPs on the cross-party committee said they were “extremely concerned” by shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and said the government was still developing plans for replenishing current stocks if there was a further outbreak.

It follows a national outcry during the pandemic when some health and care workers were forced to improvise – sometimes using rubber gloves and bin liners – while treating those with the disease.

More than 300 health and care workers have so far died of Covid-19, and many NHS staff groups and families claim that inadequate PPE played a key role in exposing them to the virus.

The Tories cancelled supplies of PPE before Covid-19 arrived in the UK, allegedly in the belief that it would not be needed.

It seems Boris Johnson still believes there’s no need for such life-saving equipment in the NHS.

Don’t blame me – I didn’t elect him. Who did?

Source: UK has no clear PPE strategy for second wave of coronavirus, MPs warn | World news | The Guardian

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Tory attitude to disability: ‘You want carers? You pay for their Covid-19 protective kit!’

Contagion: by denying people with disabilities easy access to PPE, the Tory government is making them more vulnerable to Covid-19.

Typical Tories – ill-mannered as ever toward the people they consider “useless eaters”.

Read the following and remember that it could be you the Tories are treating so carelessly:

The family of a disabled man say they have been “completely forgotten about” after they were told to source protective equipment for his NHS-funded carers themselves – despite inflated prices and quality concerns.

Cameron Harrison, 24, has adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a genetic illness which means he requires around-the-clock care.

Mr Harrison, who lives in Hitchin with his family, is blind, has limited hearing, is unable to speak, uses a wheelchair and is tube-fed.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, Mr Harrison had three carers who would visit each day, in addition to attending a sensory college run by disability charity Sense during the week and residential care for 60 days a year.

His mother Karen, 50… who works for the Leukodystrophy Charity – which helps families with conditions like her son’s, said only two carers were now able to help and all other support had stopped.

The 24-year-old’s carers are paid for through a personal health budget provided by NHS Continuing Healthcare.

In March, Mrs Harrison contacted the NHS to ask about personal protective equipment (PPE) for the carers.

Mrs Harrison said: “They said you could use your personal health budget to actually pay for the PPE but they weren’t helping at all to source the PPE.

“They said they weren’t delivering and gave me the Government website which kind of explained what PPE was, but it was more for people in care homes or care agencies.”

She added: “I just feel like we’ve been completely forgotten about, we’re a group of people who are just being left to muddle through.

“They’ve sidelined us. Care agencies are big business, care homes are big business and people all know about them, but we’re a little voice.”

I think it is possible to put the situation a different way:

Care agencies get national publicity, care homes get national publicity, but individuals don’t have that kind of voice.

So the Tories can take this opportunity to … nudge … them away from decent healthcare – by depriving them of proper PPE and forcing them to fritter away their care budget on it.

The intention seems clear: to cause hardship; if possible, to create a “positive benefit outcome”.

And you know what that means.

Source: ‘Forgotten about’ disabled man’s family told to source own PPE for carers

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Nurses protest outside Downing Street because they STILL don’t have proper PPE

More than half a year after Boris Johnson was warned of the dangers of Covid-19, nurses still do not have adequate protective equipment.

That’s why they held a protest outside Downing Street yesterday (June 3) – to demand better protection, and higher pay.

The government – as you may have come to expect – isn’t interested.

It isn’t an unreasonable request – especially for black, Asian and minority ethnic staff who have been proven to be more susceptible to the virus.

The campaign group Nurses United wants a 10 per cent pay rise for nurses and enhanced PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic, after a report by Public Health England (PHE) revealed that more than 10,000 nurses, midwives, and nursing associates had contracted COVID-19, and a disproportionate number of BAME NHS staff have died.

The group is now calling for the government to provide FFP3 respirator/filtration masks for all nurses rather than the surgical masks currently recommended for nurses working outside of high-risk areas.

In response, the Tory government has shrugged.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said the NHS Pay Review Body would make recommendations on the next annual pay increase for nurses from April 2021, and that guidance on PPE had been developed in consultation with the medical royal colleges, based on World Health Organization advice.

That means “no”. The Tories are quite happy to continue putting hard-working medical staff in danger while they try to keep the rest of us alive.

And it doesn’t matter how many nurses die – or walk away in disgust leaving a weakened National Health Service to struggle on.

Source: Nurses take pay and PPE protest to Downing Street | RCNi

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NHS coronavirus PPE supply ‘severely undermined’ by private firms

Yet again: another chance to see this image of the rubbish PPE attempts in UK hospitals.

This Site reported that the privatisation of PPE supplies was a serious problem, weeks ago.

Vox Political is vindicated yet again.

It is alleged that a “dysfunctional” supply chain process and the production of essential PPE by private firms is behind the recent “fiasco” of hospitals not receiving enough protective kit.

Authors We Own It, a group of campaigners protesting privatisation of public services, and the Public Services International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich say that part-privatisation of NHS Supply Chain – the government organisation that oversees the supply of goods to health bodies – is leading to inefficiencies in the health service’s coronavirus response.

They also say more than 11 private suppliers provide medical equipment to hospitals.

In the case of PPE, they reported that parcel delivery company DHL led the procurement process for suppliers and private logistics firms who then provided hospitals with the medical items, removing civil servants from the process.

The report, named Privatised and Unprepared: The NHS Supply Chains, also blamed what it called “just in time” business models used by private companies like logistics business Unipart for the run down of PPE supplies. It alleges that this system encourages the reduction of stock.

Researchers argue that this creates a risk for the NHS that sufficient supplies are not available to manage unforeseen events, such as the current epidemic.

They also say the system’s part-privatisation made it “fundamentally dysfunctional”.

Source: NHS coronavirus PPE supply ‘severely undermined’ by private contractors, a report claims | The New European

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Tories are accelerating destruction of the NHS, just when we really need it

Money: Matt Hancock is more interested in making a profit for private firms than in your family’s health.

If you ever needed evidence that the Conservative government is hell-bent on wrecking as many UK lives as possible, this is it.

Just when the coronavirus pandemic is proving that the worst thing possible for a nation’s health is a privatised, profit-driven health system, Matt Hancock and his gang are using it as an excuse for more privatisation!

Apparently he reckons this is a great chance to push through the changes because they aren’t being subjected to proper scrutiny.

In recent weeks, ministers have used special powers to bypass normal tendering and award a string of contracts to private companies and management consultants without open competition.

Doctors, campaign groups, academics and MPs raised the concerns about a “power grab” after it emerged on Monday that Serco was in pole position to win a deal to supply 15,000 call-handlers for the government’s tracking and tracing operation.

Deloitte, KPMG, Serco, Sodexo, Mitie, Boots and the US data mining group Palantir have secured taxpayer-funded commissions to manage Covid-19 drive-in testing centres, the purchasing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the building of Nightingale hospitals.

Now, the Guardian has seen a letter from the Department of Health to NHS trusts instructing them to stop buying any of their own PPE and ventilators.

From Monday, procurement of a list of 16 items must be handled centrally. Many of the items on the list, such as PPE, are in high demand during the pandemic, while others including CT scanners, mobile X-ray machines and ultrasounds are high-value machines that are used more widely in hospitals.

Centralising purchasing is likely to hand more responsibility to Deloitte. As well as co-ordinating Covid-19 test centres and logistics at three new “lighthouse” laboratories created to process samples, the accounting and management consultancy giant secured a contract several weeks ago to advise central government on PPE purchases.

The point on PPE purchases is crucial: the government is making it more expensive to buy this vital equipment, at a time when it should be widely available to as many people as possible.

Just think how different this would be if Jeremy Corbyn had won the 2017 election (it has been alleged that he only lost because of a right-wing faction in his own party that sabotaged him): these items would be free.

More people are going to die as a result of these decisions. Your friends and family perhaps. Maybe even yourself.

I think it’s time Matt Hancock had a nickname. What should it be?

Murdering Matt? Hancock the Hangman?

Source: UK government ‘using pandemic to transfer NHS duties to private sector’ | Business | The Guardian

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Coroners told to ignore lack of PPE in coronavirus-related inquests

One more time: PPE provided to UK medical staff is at the bottom right. Coroners are being told not to consider whether a national failure to provide proper equipment contributed to the deaths of medical staff.

Now the coroners’ courts are being told to hide the fatal results of failed Conservative policies to tackle the coronavirus, it seems.

Guidance handed down by Mark Lucraft QC, chief coroner for England and Wales, says “an inquest would not be a satisfactory means of deciding whether adequate general policies and arrangements were in place for provision of PPE to healthcare workers”.

He said that “if there were reason to suspect that some human failure contributed to the person being infected with the virus”, an inquest may be required.

The coroner “may need to consider whether any failures of precautions in a particular workplace caused the deceased to contract the virus and so contributed to death”.

But he added: “An inquest is not the right forum for addressing concerns about high-level government or public policy.”

Isn’t that an attempt to palm off responsibility for a lack of PPE onto “a particular workplace” rather than keeping it where it belongs – with the government that sent all our equipment to China and sold domestic stockpiles to a private, US-owned company?

Source: NHS staff coronavirus inquests told not to look at PPE shortages | Society | The Guardian

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