The UK government reportedly procured vast amounts of PPE from a company which was newly incorporated and had links to a Conservative peer.
PPE Medpro was founded by Anthony Page, who it is claimed quit as his role of secretary to the company that deals with Baroness Mone’s brand on the same day.
The contract, which was awarded to PPE Medpro, was reportedly not advertised to other bidders despite the lucrative deal being for 25 million gowns, intended to protect health workers working in high-risk environments.
The BBC reported that a significant bulk of the PPE, estimated to be worth £122 million was not used by the NHS.
In November, it was also realised that the government had been paying £1 million per day to store excess PPE which also was not being used at the time.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) told the BBC that the gowns must meet the British Standard regulations for the sterilisation of medical devices or a ‘technical equivalent’.
PPE Medpro opted for the ‘technical equivalent route however the Department for Health and Social Care and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency declined to comment when asked about the approval application for the gowns.
Questions are being raised about the effectiveness of the governments PPE procurement strategy and the value for money the taxpayer is getting from these deals. The National Audit Office found that prices were fluctuating significantly for PPE and that was priority was given for businesses with contacts to MPs.
PPE Medpro say they delivered 100 per cent of the contract to the terms specified and “fully in accordance with the agreed contract, which included clear terms as to technical specification and performance criteria of the products”.
“We did so in very challenging circumstances earlier this year and are very pleased to have been able to assist DHSC fully and properly at a time of national crisis,” it added.
Currently there is no record of PPE Medpro or it’s two Chinese suppliers of the regulator’s exemption list although there are reports that the evaluation process is ongoing.
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