PPE to go up in smoke – literally – as the bill for waste tops £10 billion

The Government has wasted more than £9.9 billion on PPE, which is more than it would cost to give every nurse in the NHS a 100 per cent bonus on their salary. 

The figure comes from the Department of Health’s Annual Report, which reveals it spent:

  • £673 million on PPE “not suitable for any use”
  • £2,581 million on PPE “not suitable for use in the NHS”
  • £4.7 billion paying inflated pandemic prices for PPE we didn’t need to buy
  • £750 million buying PPE which will pass its expiry date before we can use it.

It has also “written down” the value of £1.231 billion in PPE, which is still yet to be delivered.

The Department also reports that some of the PPE will need to be recycled and it’s now contracting “waste providers”. Some of it is too complex to be recycled and so will need to be burned.

Thanks to an FOI response, Good Law Project can also reveal that, between April 2020 and August 2021, the Government spent £677.6 million storing excess PPE. It continues to spend £500,000 a day on this.

Civil servants complained at the time that the need to service VIPs, the majority of which were introduced by Government Ministers, was interfering with good procurement. It is unlikely we will ever know the true cost of this taxpayer-funded feeding frenzy for the friends and associates of Ministers.


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