UK Crony Capitalism: Losses of nearly £10 billion incurred over PPE

Wednesday, 2 February 2022 — True Publica

Corruption: Losses of nearly £10 billion incurred over PPE

By TruePublica: The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) support ministers in leading the nation’s health and social care and in their words –  “to help people live more independent, healthier lives for longer.” Unfortunately, corruption by these ministers overtook them and billions in taxpayer funds have been blown.

In their annual report, this year, buried on page 199 published on Monday was the quite frankly shocking disclosure that the NHS has incurred £8.7bn of losses. Yes, you read that correctly – eight thousand seven hundred million pounds of losses. It turns out that of the £12.1bn of PPE bought in 2020/21 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic – £8.7 billion or a staggering 72 per cent of it is now effectively written off or written down.

Given how much the NHS is struggling against the backdrop of a pandemic, millions on the waiting list, staff shortages and so on, one can only imagine how many lives could be saved or made better by eight thousand, seven hundred million pounds worth of additional care.

There are, of course, some mitigating circumstances. And on this point, where is Health Secretary Sajid Javid to tell us all of the details along with the staggering failure and abuse of taxpayers cash, just at the moment we are all being asked to stump up more.

Here is the excerpt from the DHSC annual report: “the Department estimates that there has been a loss in value of £8.7 billion of the £12.1 billion of PPE purchased in 2020-21. This impairment relates to: • £0.67 billion of PPE which cannot be used, for instance, because it is defective, £2.6 billion of PPE which is not suitable for use within the health and social care sector but which the Department considers might be suitable for other uses (although these potential other uses are as yet uncertain), £0.75 billion of PPE which is in excess of the amount that will ultimately be needed and  £4.7 billion of adjustment to the year-end valuation of PPE due to the market price of equivalent PPE at the year-end being lower than the original purchase price”.

What this says is that the DHSC paid above the odds for more PPE than was needed, tons of which are not fit for purpose.  Or perhaps the DHSC somehow ended up with this stock because it was somehow foisted upon them to accept stock having not gone through the normal channels of course.

“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”

TruePublica media partner the Good Law Project estimates the value of PPE is even worse than the DHSC says. “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.”

Here is the Dept of Health’s response: “The supply of these vital items helped keep our NHS open at a moment of national crisis to deliver a world-class service to the public. We are seeking to recover costs from suppliers wherever possible.”

If ever there was one – that is an admission that we the taxpayer, have been had one way or another in yet another scandal. In addition, the department has “written down” the value of £1.231 billion in PPE, which is still yet to be delivered.

On page 200 of the DHSC annual report, there is another worrying admission. The department has not “re-established effective [financial] controls in all areas” having “adapted” its procurement and inventory management systems at the start of the pandemic.

“Some of the PPE is too complex to be recycled and so will need to be burned”

It is notable that the British Medical Journal has reported that, in their words – “A fifth of UK government contracts awarded to respond to the covid-19 pandemic last year contained red flag indicators of possible corruption.”

Meanwhile, the DHSC reports that ‘changes’ contributed to a “significant loss of value to the taxpayer” and left the Department “open to the risk of fraud”.

And to make matters worse, the Department also reports that some of the PPE will now 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.

The Good Law Project makes a good point when it says – “Civil servants complained at the time that the need to service (fast-tracked suppliers) 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.”

All this feeds into the same story that the current Conservative government is corrupt to the core.

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