Government publishes 40 PPE contracts totalling £4.2bn – a year late

In February, Boris Johnson falsely claimed that details of all PPE contracts awarded by the Government had been published and “were on the record“. A few weeks later Cabinet Office Minister Edward Argar doubled down on Johnson’s statement – claimingthe Prime Minister spoke accurately“.

They were both wrong.

Last week, the Government quietly published details of 40 PPE contracts awarded a year ago during the first wave of the pandemic. The value of these contracts is an eye-watering £4.2 billion.

The newly published contracts were awarded by Supply Chain Coordination Ltd (SCCL), a procurement vehicle set up in 2018 and overseen by the Department of Health and Social Care. The biggest winners of SCCL contracts were Full Support Healthcare which landed what Government has said was a mere £1.8bn deal – although spend data released via FOI confirms that SCCL paid Full Support Healthcare circa £2.5bn between March 2020 and December 2020.

Other winners include:

  • 365 Healthcare, a trading division of Bunzl. SCCL handed a £131m PPE deal to 365 Healthcare on 1 April 2020. Good Law Project previously revealed that Conservative Peer Lord Feldman lobbied for PPE contracts on behalf of Bunzl whilst acting as an advisor in the DHSC.  SCCL awarded its contract to 365 Healthcare only a week after Feldman lobbied DHSC on behalf of Bunzl.
  • Globus Shetland landed a £14m deal in April 2020 to provide eye protection and respirators. The firm has previously donated £375,000 to the Conservative Party.
  • Polyco Healthline Limited was awarded a £56m contract to provide respirators. In February it was revealed that more than a million FFP3 masks issued to the NHS and supplied by Polyco had to be recalled because they ‘may not meet safety standards’.
  • Guardian Surgical received a £312m PPE contract in April 2020.
  • Rocialle Healthcare the owners of Guardian Surgical also landed a £127m deal from the SCCL. The huge deals were for the provision of eye protection, masks and gown. Rocialle is owned by Zhende Medical, the Chinese firm who also supplied Ayanda with the PPE as part of a controversial £252m contract.

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