The fiasco over a shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Turkey has been laid bare as it emerged that the Government had failed to secure the order before making a public announcement.
Officials ordered 400,000 gowns from a private company but made no checks on whether the goods could be exported despite being aware of a restrictions imposed by President Tayyip Erdoğan.
They only contacted the Turkish Government to begin negotiations on Sunday – the day that it had been said that the gowns would land in the UK. The shipment finally landed at RAF Brize Norton on Wednesday, but was not complete.
It comes amid growing anger over the lack of PPE as it emerged that at least 100 health and care workers have lost their lives to Covid-19.
Dr Katie Sanderson, a doctor in Acute Medicine at a London hospital [and DAUK committee member] has called for all medics who lose their lives fighting the virus to be given an inquest as they died in the course of their employment.
A spokesman for the Doctors’ Association UK said it was important the deaths of all healthcare workers were investigated properly either through a coronial process or a public inquiry to ensure that lessons were learned.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, told the daily Downing Street press conference that the numbers of items of PPE needed are “absolutely vast” and in the billions each month.