NAO report provides further evidence of Government’s lack of preparedness for Covid-19, says BMA

BMA press release

Location: England
Published: Wednesday 18 November 2020

Responding to today’s report by the National Audit Office on PPE procurement1, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “Healthcare staff did not have access to the PPE they needed when Covid-19 hit our shores, and today’s report confirms that sourcing this protection was totally mis-managed.

“These figures provide further evidence that the Westminster Government was poorly prepared for such a crisis, which ultimately affected the quality, timeliness and value for money of the protection that the NHS then received.

“Greater transparency around private sector spending is essential to avoiding the misuse of taxpayers’ money, but we are currently seeing this outsourcing being carried out with minimal oversight or governance. Deals are being left unscrutinised and as a result, taxpayers’ money is pouring out of the Treasury while the NHS – which is in desperate need of investment – is ignored. 

“The BMA has recently called for any future inquiry into the handling of Covid-19 to include a focus on the lack of transparency around procurement, so that lessons can be learnt and staff and patients are adequately protected from the get-go in the event of another crisis.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For the full NAO report, click here.

The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.