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A “privatised” and “dysfunctional” system led to lack of PPE

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the NHS was unprepared due to its “heavily privatised, convoluted, and fundamentally dysfunctional system” of product supply, in particular of personal protective equipment (PPE), according to a report published by the Public Services International Research Unit at the University of Greenwich and the campaign group We Own it.

The government’s privatisation of the supply chain, notes the report, led to the disastrous failings in getting adequate PPE to where it was needed as the number of coronavirus cases rose. This ultimately may have led to the deaths of NHS workers. There has been an outcry in the press over the lack of PPE, however the report notes that little has been said about the role of privatisation on the shortages.

The production and supply of goods to the NHS, including all PPE equipment, is very complex and for the most part in the hands of private companies. This is a result of several years of privatisation of the NHS’ procurement and logistics system under the guise of efficiency savings.

Full story in The Lowdown, 27 May 2020

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