Matt Hancock (above), the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has admitted that the Government is unable to secure sufficient gowns to supply to NHS staff this weekend. Answering questions from the Health and Social Care Select Committee, Hancock said that the Government was doing all that it could to supply PPE.
When asked about the supply of gowns for this weekend, Hancock replied:
“We are tight on gowns; that is the pressure point at the moment. We have another 55,000 gowns arriving today and we are working on the acquisition internationally of more gowns, but it is a challenge”.
Hancock also defended the Government, adding:
“As of this weekend we will have shipped one billion items of personal protective equipment across the UK. I have called this a herculean effort before; it is a massive undertaking. And it is understandable, in a massive undertaking like that, that there are complications and challenges, and I take responsibility for getting PPE out to everyone.”
Justin Madders, Labour’s Shadow Public Health and Prevention Minister, said in a statement:
“It is a scandal that so many key workers and public servants still don’t have enough protective equipment. Workers have been sounding the alarm for weeks now and the Government has had months to put things in place. It is outrageous that supplies keep running so low, protecting those staff who are risking their lives every time they go to work should be an absolute priority.
Ministers need to make good on their promises, sort out the supply issues and work to make sure no staff member feels unsafe because of a lack of PPE. It is no good making grand promises if they later turn out to be undeliverable.”