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Latest 26 January 2023

PPE losses rise to £14.9 billion

Ink Drop / Alamy Stock Photo

The Department of Health and Social Care’s annual accounts for 2021-22 have revealed a further £6 billion write down in connection with PPE and other inventory. This follows a staggering £8.9bn write down in 2020-21. 


The total – almost £14.9bn – exceeds by almost £2bn the aggregate sum spent on PPE. The National Audit Office reported in March 2022 that “DHSC has so far spent £12.6bn of the total £13.1bn it expects to spend on almost 38 billion items of PPE.”

The further write down is made up of:

  • £2.5 billion write-down of items procured in 2021-22 which relates to items the Department no longer expects to use or due to falling market prices;
  • £3.5 billion for onerous costs relating to PPE, vaccines and medicines for items it had agreed to purchase before 31 March 2022, but which it now does not expect to use.

The annual accounts also reveal that storage costs were running at approximately £24m per month. Good Law Project has previously revealed that PPE storage costs exceed £1bn in total and hundreds of millions of pounds were going to Uniserve, a ‘VIP’ that had also supplied substantial quantities of PPE.

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