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The UK PPE Scandal…Again


Throughout the peak of the Covid pandemic Fashion-Enter Ltd (FEL) was able to keep it’s production workers busy with the essential manufacturing of medical personal, protective, equipment (PPE). Everyone did their bit to support manufacturing 20,000 disposable PPE gowns, however, the ‘disposable’ nature of the gowns did not sit right with the team or their clients.

This initiated the development of a reusable gown that was tested and medically safe. The FEL team worked closely with Mike Dinan from the NHS Royal Free Hospital London to develop a reusable state of the art polyester based gown that had an RFID tag inserted into the hem. This therefore tracked the amount of washes the gown could have before it became ineffective. Tap here to read about the reusable PPE garment.

The trial was a success and the medical team at NHS Royal Free were happy but then contracts went overseas and the government PPE budget had disappeared. Several years and shocking revelations later the extent of the mismanagement of the PPE budget continues to escalate.

The recent news that a dump of hundreds of thousands of unused PPE has been discovered near a nature reserve close to the New Forest is the latest shocker on a very long scandal list. The BBC reported that ‘Hampshire county councillors previously heard it might have been discarded as substandard during the Covid pandemic and illegally dumped. However, New Forest District Council said the PPE was stored on pallets and was due to be recycled.’

The stockpile, hidden at the back of a caravan site, has angered and confused local residents, and is now in the process of being removed and investigated. Last year, Department for Health and Social Care accounts for the previous year revealed £673m worth of PPE bought during the pandemic was unusable. 

FEL Head of Creative Beth Davy-Day commented: “An appalling decision (on FEL Wales not gaining a 4-year PPE contract) given the news this week of the ‘Mountain’ of unused PPE dumped in a nature reserve near Hampshire, was this due to items not fitting or being faulty? Where were they made? We are offering manufacturing from our SMETA and SEDEX approved factory who supported the government during lockdown after giving away contracts to those without transparency or manufacturing history. At FEL we treat everyone with respect and empathy.”

The extent of the mismanagement here is on an epic scale, what a waste of crucial government funds, and to think of all the skilled manufacturers right here in the UK, such as FEL, that would ensure their order was fit for purpose before entering full production. This really is a disgrace.

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