The masks were bought from a family investment company in April but will not be able to be used as they have the wrong kind of strap. The deal struck by a Government adviser, included 50 million high-strength FFP2 medical masks costing between £150 million to £180 million. That amount would have amounted to the health system’s suggested consumption for a year as well as including 150 million cheaper IIR masks. Of the £252 million contract, official have now admitted the 43.5 million Chinese-made FFP2 delivered so far, do not meet standards as the masks have ear-loop fastenings as opposed to head loops.
Due to those straps, the masks cannot be fixed securely when worn.
According to documents seen by the Good Law Project, the masks were bought from Ayanda Capital.
Jolyon Maugham, the Good Law Project’s director said: “It’s taken this extraordinary sum of public funds and wasted it on PPE that it itself says cannot be released for use in the NHS because it’s not safe.
“We do think that it’s important that the court take a look at these contracts, that it declare them to be unlawful and that there be full transparency of how these staggering amounts of public money have been spent.”
Ayanda Capital said: “The masks supplied went through a rigorous technical assurance programme and meet all the requirements of the technical specifications which were made available online through the government’s portal.
“There are provisions in our contract for product to be rejected if it did not meet the required specification as per the contract. These provisions have not been activated.”
A Government statement also said: “Throughout this global pandemic, we have been working tirelessly to deliver PPE to protect people on the frontline.
“Over 2.4 billion items have been delivered, and more than 30 billion have been ordered from UK-based manufacturers and international partners to provide a continuous supply, which meets the needs of health and social care staff both now and in the future.
“There is a robust process in place to ensure orders are of high quality and meet strict safety standards, with the necessary due diligence undertaken on all government contracts.”
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7.25am update: 150 million masks not to be used
At least 150 million protective masks will not be used after officials have expressed concern over their safety standards.
The masks were part of a £252million contract struck in April but according to the Good Law Project, they will not be used due to the type of strapping.
The firm involved, Ayanda Capital has insisted the masks stand up to current standards.