The government has hit back at media claims that the distribution of the national stockpile of PPE by a private contractor was “chaotic” and led to unnecessary delays in equipment reaching hospitals and care homes.

The Guardian and ITV News yesterday accused Movianto, the company paid by the government to manage a PPE warehouse on Merseyside, of failing to organise PPE distribution adequately during the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.

After conducting a joint investigation, both news organisation say that allegations from delivery drivers and “well–placed sources”  indicate that Movianto, the subsidiary of a US healthcare giant, was unable to properly manage and distribute the nation’s emergency stockpile of PPE.

They also claim that Movianto initially stored the equipment in a fire-damaged warehouse where there was a risk of asbestos contamination, only later transferring the stockpile to a purpose-built facility.

But the government today described the claims as ‘false, inaccurate and misleading”.

“We have been clear that the pandemic influenza stockpile has always been readily deployable. It has been able to supply products for the COVID-19 response as soon as they were needed,’ said a government spokesperson.

“There has been no damage to any of the stockpile and it has been safely and securely stored at all times.

“Our supply chain for PPE was designed to accommodate delivery to 226 NHS trusts. We are now providing essential PPE supplies to 58,000 different providers, including care homes, GP surgeries, hospices and community care organisations.”

Date published: May 15, 2020

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