Safety concerns raised over incorrect PPE ordered from Ayanda Capital
The fifty million face masks incorrectly purchased by the government as part of a £252m contract will not be used in the NHS due to safety concerns.
There are concerns whether the masks, ordered from Ayanda Capital, are adequate for NHS purposes as they have ear loops rather than the requisite head loops.
The government confirmed in court papers that the masks, which are in the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) logistic chain, will not be used in the NHS.
Legal proceedings undertaken against the UK government, in the form of a law suit by The Good Law Project and EveryDoctor, reveal the 50m masks would have cost more than £150m.
The government awarded the £252.5m contract to Ayanda on 29 April, with £41.25m payable on commencement to secure the manufacturing capacity.
Ayanda also supplied 150m masks of another type, which the government says are unaffected but will be subject to further testing in the UK before any are released for NHS use.
The original approach to sell the masks came from Andrew Mills, the director of Prospermill, which had secured exclusive rights to the full production capacity of a large factory in China to manufacture masks and offer a large quantity almost immediately.
A document presented in the case revealed Mills requested DHSC’s contractual counterparty should be Ayanda rather than Prospermill, as Ayanda already had an established international banking infrastructure that could be used to effect the necessary payments overseas, whereas Prospermill’s own bank had indicated it could take some time to set this up on its own account.
Mills told the BBC that his having been an adviser to the UK Board of Trade and a senior board adviser at Ayanda had played no part in the award of the contract.
Jolyon Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, said: “Good Law Project wrote to government on three contracts each worth over £100m – with respectively a pest control company, a confectioner and a family hedge fund.
“Each of those contracts has revealed real cause for alarm – including, on Ayanda, that around £150m was spent on unusable masks. What other failures remain undiscovered?”
Julia Patterson, the founder of EveryDoctor, said: “It is horrifying that during the worst crisis in the NHS’s history, the government entrusted large sums of public money in the hands of companies with no experience in procuring safe PPE for healthcare workers.”
Asked about the masks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “very disappointed” that “any consignment of PPE should turn out not to be fit for purpose”.
Mr Johnson insisted his government had “achieved a colossal race against time” to produce “billions of items” of PPE and source them from abroad, adding that supplies are now being stockpiled in the event of a second wave later in the year.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “For months, we were told that the government was purchasing the right equipment for the front line. Yet again it hasn’t happened.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said the case for the National Audit Office to investigate the government’s mishandling of personal protective equipment (PPE) was “overwhelming”, adding: “It is astounding that ministers allowed the national PPE stockpile to run down and then spent millions with an offshore finance company with no history of providing vital equipment for the NHS.”
The Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, said a clear strategy for procuring PPE was urgently needed, adding: “The government has serious questions to answer over this shocking waste of taxpayers’ money.”
A government spokesman said: “Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline.”
Similar Recent Posts by this Author:
- “The Government plan to spend £100 billion of public money and have revealed no information about how the procurement process will work,”
- Doctors warn UK hospitals running out of protective equipment for staff
- “I don’t like acts of dishonesty by the state’
- LET THE MANAGERS & THEIR POLITICAL MASTERS RUN THE NHS THEN – WITH MEDICAL NURSING TECHNICAL AND DOMESTIC STAFF WALKING OUT SUPPORTED BY THE UNIONS & PUBLIC OVER DANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS
- BRITAIN’S CORONAVIRUS POLICY WAS WRONG, ITS DEATH FIGURES UNDERSTATED AND SO WAS ITS PRACTICE TO PROVIDE PPE
- MASKS ARE PPE AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE COMPULSORY BY EARLY MARCH – THEY ARE ESSENTIAL IN & OUT OF HOSPITALS