December 19, 2022

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Arco call for PPE accredited list of suppliers following pandemic ‘fast lane’ ruling

Arco is calling for a register of accredited PPE suppliers following the high court ruling that the Government’s Covid-19 PPE supplier ‘fast lane’ was unlawful.

In its recently published position paper, Personal Protective Equipment and the Government’s Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Arco says that a list of Category II and III PPE-approved suppliers are essential in order to better prepare for future events.

In January the high court ruled that a VIP fast track lane of PPE suppliers awarded contracts at the height of the pandemic was unlawful, with some products failing to meet standards and were therefore deemed unusable.

Arco, despite a long-standing reputation of supplying PPE products, was not consulted by Downing Street during the pandemic but its Chairman, Thomas Martin, says it remains open to offering guidance. In an introduction to the position paper, Martin explains:

“Whilst we appreciate there was an urgent requirement for PPE for frontline responders at the beginning of the pandemic and that the Government was facing unprecedented and challenging circumstances, we still believe that, with our track record in sourcing, emergency planning and distribution of PPE, the Government could have engaged more proactively with Arco to benefit from our expert knowledge to support the process.

“We understand that there was a cost of £8.7bn incurred because of the Government buying equipment that was not fit-for-purpose, paying increased prices in a competitive global market and purchasing products that subsequently had passed their expiry date. Of most concern was the £2.6bn that was spent on PPE not suitable for use in the NHS.
“We still feel that there are important lessons to learn from what went wrong and Arco remains ready and willing to work with the Government and its agencies to ensure that we are better protected for any future emergencies.”

Click here for SHP’s Complete guide to Personal Protective Equipment.

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