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About £1.4bn worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been destroyed or written off in what is understood to be the most wasteful government deal of the pandemic.

Figures obtained by the BBC reveal that at least 1.57 billion items of PPE provided by the NHS supplier, Full Support Healthcare, will never be used, despite being manufactured to the proper standard.

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), which was responsible for purchasing and delivering Covid PPE, said: “We do not recognise the £1.4bn quoted. Our position on PPE stock is set out in the department’s annual accounts as audited by the National Audit Office."

The Labour Party described the contract as a "staggering waste" while the Liberal Democrats said it was a "colossal misuse of public funds".

Full Support Healthcare agreed a £1.78bn deal in April 2020 to deliver face masks, respirators, eye protection and aprons - the largest Covid PPE order from a single supplier, accounting for 13% of the government’s total spend.

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Date: 26 June

Posted in News on Jun 26, 2024

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