Jun 12, 2020

Coronavirus: First official analysis finds PPE failings

The National Audit Office has now published the first official assessment of the supply and distribution of PPE in England by government organisations. The NAO report, on the preparedness of the NHS and social care in England, states that the only stockpile available to meet increased demand for PPE in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak was the one built up in anticipation of a pandemic flu crisis. For social care, the items distributed were all less than the modelled requirement, and with gloves and eye protectors it was below 10%. The NAO adds that feedback from local providers revealed a large majority reporting that the PPE issue was having "a high or significant disruptive impact in their area across health and social care services". The Department of Health's argument to the NAO was that NHS and social care organisations could purchase their own PPE to top up what was sent out from central stocks. "The modelled PPE requirements presented in this report are theoretical worst case estimates - it is misleading to compare them to figures on centrally procured PPE which do not account for equipment supplied through other routes or existing local stocks."

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