But he stated that due to his workforce, there was “never a national shortage”.
Labour stated it was an “insult” to assert there was no shortage of the tools medics want to assist stop them from being contaminated with the virus.
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And medics criticised the minister on-line.
One physician wrote on Twitter that Mr Hancock’s remarks are “categorically not true”.
Dr Rachel Clarke, a palliative care physician, wrote: “I say this as somebody who begged native veterinary practices and faculties for masks and visors.
“Whose hospice almost closed down by lack of PPE. This was taking place up and down the nation. It was horrendous.”
The Health Secretary instructed BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This has all been seemed into in nice element. It’s solely due to the transparency that I help that we are able to ask questions on these contracts.
“The implication of your query concerning the particular one that you just raised is that folks must be barred from taking contracts in the event that they know anyone concerned – that will be ridiculous.
“And what’s extra, it’s straightforward to ask these questions, however what is tough is to ship PPE within the tooth of a pandemic.
“And that’s what my workforce did. And sure, there have been particular person challenges in entry to PPE, however we by no means had a national shortage, due to my workforce.”
It comes because the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was compelled to difficulty a discover to the NHS relating to some masks it had issued.
The alert stated that some medical grade masks “may not meet DHSC’s essential technical specification” and urged NHS leaders to “stop using this product for the time being, and immediately quarantine any stock of this product you may have”.
Labour stated that it was “another example of ministers buying duff PPE that is inadequate for protecting our hardworking NHS staff”.
Meanwhile Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour’s shadow minister for psychological well being, stated that Mr Hancock’s remarks about PPE shortage have been “insulting”.
She stated: “It is an insult to assert there was no shortage of PPE.
“Many frontline employees needed to ration protecting tools, placing themselves in danger.
“Lots of it was insufficient and poorly becoming, and a few NHS workers needed to make robes themselves from bin baggage.
“The truth is, it was a smash-and-grab for Tory donors and buddies. And defending employees who have been placing themselves in hurt’s option to look after folks appears to have been an afterthought.”
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Gavin Edwards, senior national officer for the union Unison, stated: “Workers throughout the UK, significantly these within the care sector, have been left distressed and at risk due to the shortage of protecting equipment within the early days of the pandemic.
“Pretending this didn’t occur or that by some means it was not a national downside is rewriting historical past and ignoring the info.”
Dame Donna Kinnair, chief govt and basic secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, stated: “Nursing workers who have been put in hurt’s approach as a result of they may not entry correct protecting tools will discover this declare deeply insulting.
“Reports from the National Audit Office, PAC and HSC Committee additionally immediately contradict what the Health Secretary is claiming. ”
Numerous medical doctors have spoke about their expertise with PPE because the coronavirus disaster unfolded final yr.
– An obstetrician at a London hospital who described how workers have been “hiding” PPE out of sheer desperation.
– An orderly on the similar hospital made themselves a makeshift face masking out of an eye fixed masks normally used for sleeping.
– Another physician in contrast the state of affairs to sending a soldier to struggle with out the required tools.
– A junior physician who stated it felt prefer it was “inevitable” that they might contract the virus attributable to a lack of PPE.
– One GP stated they’d bought face shields from the net retailer Amazon as they may not get them by the normal provide chains.
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In March final yr, the Royal College of Nursing stated that some nurses have been despatched to deal with sufferers on Covid wards with “no protection at all”.
One determined NHS procurement chief tweeted: “God help us all”.
And the Health Care Supply Association (HCSA), which represents procurement and provide professionals throughout the healthcare sector within the UK, warned of “serious supply issues” in hospitals.
Meanwhile, advisor urologist Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury died from Covid-19 5 days after writing a Facebook submit asking Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urgently present each NHS employee with private protecting tools.
The World Health Organisation additionally warned that the “chronic” shortage of PPE was threatening “our collective ability to save lives”.