We “never had a national shortage” of PPE

Matt Hancock, BBC Radio 4

February 23, 2021

Facts

Matt Hancock told BBC Radio 4 that: “There were individual challenges in access to PPE but we never had a national shortage because of my team... As the NAO investigated and found, there was never a national shortage.”

The National Audit Office (NAO) report said: "many front-line workers in health and adult social care reported not having access to the PPE they needed during the height of the shortages".

"The NHS provider organisations we spoke to told us that, while they were concerned about the low stocks of PPE, they were always able to get what they needed in time. However, this was not the experience reported by many front-line workers."

"Feedback from care workers, doctors and nurses show that significant numbers of them considered that they were not adequately protected during the height of the first wave of the pandemic. Occurrence of shortages is supported by other qualitative evidence. Directors of Adult Social Care also stated that essential supplies were not getting through to the social care front-line."

Verdict

Matt Hancock’s statement may have been accurate in its reference to the national supply of PPE but leaves him open to the accusation that he gave insufficient weight to undeniable and powerful evidence of very serious local shortages.

When we asked Matt Hancock to respond to the claims laid out in this website, a spokesperson said: “This list is false, wildly inaccurate, and in some cases possibly even defamatory. For example claiming that some of Matt's claims in the Commons were in defiance of the ministerial code, when they were in fact accurate. The priority throughout this unprecedented pandemic has been saving lives.” 

PreviousNext