Over 1 million high-grade NHS face masks recalled over safety violations

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has stated that 1.12 million PPE face masks are currently in use and the department has told frontline workers to cease using them.

In addition, some PPE gloves are suspected of failing to meet technical requirements. The department issued a warning on a specific brand of FFP3 mask, which is an advanced version of regular surgical masks, worn in intensive care or whilst specialist procedures are undertaken which may generate aerosols. These minuscule virus particles can potentially expand in closed spaces and have been connected to significant outbreaks of COVID-19 across the world.

As the leading sector-specific voice for the professional clothing industry, the PCIAW® has emphasised the necessity of businesses adhering to basic regulatory standards and the government conducting adequate checks on potential PPE suppliers to ensure that companies have the relevant experience and do not endanger users of their products.

Businesses must ensure that they are taking advantage of credible testing bodies such as the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), a trusted collaborator with the PCIAW®. 

PCIAW®’s crucial position as a platform of diverse buyers, suppliers, and service providers across the world means that it is uniquely placed to advertise PPE tenders and connect demand with need, wherever present. PCIAW® Trusted Members are regularly monitored and strictly vetted for adherence to all regulatory standards. With an ever-growing network of global professionals, we facilitate collaboration and encourage peer-to-peer support, creating business connections and helping our members grow their business and extend their reach.

Yvette Ashby, CEO of PCIAW® encourages the DHSC to reach out and use the PCIAW®’s expertise as a vast repository representing diverse PPE firms and businesses from every corner of the world. The sheer amount of waste and misguidance on strict PPE requirements continues to mystify efforts to procure vast amounts of PPE for the NHS and frontline workers, whose safety is invaluable in the effort to combat COVID-19.

The Labour Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said this was “yet another example of ministers buying duff PPE that is inadequate for protecting our hardworking NHS staff”.

On Thursday 18th February, the DHSC published an alert on the Central Alerting System warning against the Fang Tian FFP3 mask marked as FT-045 and supplied by Polyco Healthline, a healthcare provider. The alert specified that the face mask may not meet the required technical specifications, urging healthcare staff to immediately quarantine remaining stock of the product.

The alert specified that the provider of the masks was Polyco Healthline, but the manufacturer Suzhou Fangtian Industries argues that it has never supplied that firm.

“The safety of frontline staff and patients is our absolute priority,” said a DHSC spokesperson.

“As a precaution we have issued advice to health and care providers to check to see if their stock includes this product, and to stop using these masks pending further investigation.”

“We have a resilient supply of FFP3 masks to ensure that health and social care workers have access to the PPE they need.”

Source: BBC

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