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£420 per visor: the price of ministers’ PPE panic

The Times reports that former Conservative councillor, Steve Dechan, received a £120 million government contract for face shields whose quality is so doubtful that fewer than 1 in 400 have been used, meaning each one has so far cost the equivalent of £423.

In April last year, however, his offer to supply personal protective equipment (PPE) from China was fast-tracked through the “VIP” procurement lane. The government then invoked emergency rules to directly award him a series of contracts.

Only a tiny fraction of the total order of 120 million medical-grade plastic face shields has reached doctors and nurses on the front line amid confusion about their safety. None of them could be used last year.

Full story in The Times, 25 July 2021

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