After being deemed unfit for Britain’s NHS – a £98million consignment of rejected PPE from China has been put up for sale.
The surgical gowns were intended for the UK’s supply chain during the pandemic, but were found to be ‘unsuitable’ for healthcare purposes. Instead, the shipment from The National Instruments Import & Export Group has been offered for sale on a Nato e-portal.
The PPE was delivered under a contract that hid the colour of the items, despite government guarantees that pandemic contracts are being openly published. The quantity, unit price and measurements were also redacted in the documents made available online.
The Department of Health and Social Care did not specify why the items had been rejected for UK use but has disclosed the gowns ‘have been considered as unsuitable for use in a UK healthcare setting’.
PPE that does not meet NHS ‘quality assurance’ can be sold on with the Ministry of Defence acting as the DHSC’s agent in its sales activity on the e-portal run by the Nato Procurement Agency.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who has backed calls for more transparency and a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic, questioned whether the cast-offs would find any takers among member nations.