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PPE supply chain failures a ‘national scandal,’ Unite says

UNITE called on the government’s personal protective equipment (PPE) tsar yesterday to end the “national scandal” of failures in the supply chain.

The union’s demand to Tory peer Lord Paul Deighton, who oversees the distribution of PPE, follows reports that £1 million a day is being spent to store 10,000 shipping containers of the equipment at port in Felixstowe. 

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “The long-running problems with the delivery of PPE are a national scandal that have shocked the public.

“The supply and delivery of PPE have been devilled by variable quality, with some items having to be sent back, storage issues, and [issues with] how the contracts were awarded in the first place.”

He said that the contracts were given “to those with close links with the Tory establishment, the so-called ‘chumocracy,’ which has undermined the public’s trust and confidence in the government’s Covid-19 strategy.”

He said that the PPE crisis should be resolved out of respect for the at least 600 health and care workers who have died with Covid-19.

The Department of Health and Social Care was asked to comment.

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