Tag Archives: unused

Government plans to burn unused & unusable PPE – destroying the evidence?

This image never gets tired: the kind of “PPE” initially used by UK NHS staff is shown at bottom right.

Do you think it’s an accident that the Tory government is planning to destroy billions of pounds worth of Personal Protective Equipment it bought during the Covid-19 crisis, that proved to be unusable?

Of £12 billion the Department of Health (DoH – perhaps to be pronounced “D’oh!” in resemblance of Homer Simpson’s catchprhase whenever he does something idiotic) spent on PPE during the crisis, £8.7 billion had to be written off, including £4 billion because the equipment, including masks and gowns, did not meet NHS standards, was defective or not needed.

This was the time of Matt Hancock’s “VIP lane” procurement system that prioritised Tory friends and donors with no experience of providing medical equipment over firms of seasoned professionals. 24 per cent of the PPE contracts awarded are now in dispute.

Not only that but, in defiance of the government’s own pandemic plan, Boris Johnson had allowed supplies of protective equipment to dwindle before the pandemic struck. It was supposed to be possible to replenish them with “just in time” supplier contracts, but Johnson waited until too late to call them in; the (mostly Chinese) suppliers were already swamped by demand from their own health service and elsewhere.

Worse, he actually sent 1,800 pairs of goggles and 43,000 disposable gloves, 194,000 sanitising wipes, 37,500 medical gowns and 2,500 face masks – 278,800 items in total – to China, five days before NHS chiefs warned a lack of PPE left the health service facing a “nightmare”.

And now the DoH is planning to burn public money – literally – by incinerating the unusable equipment in order to generate power. It has not explained what the environmental impact of this plan will be.

Doesn’t it seem that the Tories are trying to destroy the evidence of their Covid-19 PPE mismanagement, before an inquiry into it is launched?

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