Government 'failed to prepare' on PPE, say MPs

By Laura Sharman | 08 July 2020

The Government has failed to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) in the event of a second wave of coronavirus, a watchdog warned today.

?In a damning report, the Public Accounts Committee said the Government was failing to tackle the shortage of PPE for care staff with 'sufficient urgency'.

The committee called for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to explain how it will have an adequate supply of stock within the care sector in the next two months.

Committee chair Meg Hillier said: ‘The Government conducted a large pandemic practice exercise in 2016 but failed to prepare.

'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.’

A DHSC spokesman 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.

'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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