NAO report says UK’s ‘chaotic’ PPE buying cost billions extra

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has found that the government spent £10bn more buying personal protective equipment in “chaotic” and inflated market conditions during the pandemic than it would have paid for the same products last year.

Despite paying such large amounts, the NAO found that, less than 10% of the gloves, gowns, face masks and other products – ordered for a total £12.5bn – had been delivered to NHS trusts and other frontline organisations by the end of July.

Of 32bn items ordered only 2.6bn had been distributed by July. The controversial “parallel supply chain”, set up by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in March, has still not received much of the PPE it ordered, the report said, “with some of it not yet manufactured”.

Full story in The Guardian, 25 November 2020

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