Original expiry dates still clearly visible under hastily-attached new labels
The government’s much-vaunted delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) is finally arriving in the hands of some NHS staff – even though the Department of Health claimed it had all been delivered over the past two weeks.
But NHS workers on the front line are reacting with horror – though not disbelief – because the equipment, including masks and other PPE is clearly old, expired and has simply been re-dated with a new expiry date.
Nurses are posting pictures of the equipment they have received – and the old, long-past dates are still clearly visible underneath the hastily-applied new labels:
In a worrying development, the Twitter account that posted the above images – which had existed since 2014 and posted thousands of tweets – was deleted moments after the screen capture was taken, in what looks like a news clampdown by NHS management.
The fact that NHS staff were being given expired equipment is not new – Lancet editor Richard Horton tweeted about it last week:
But the government is now trumpeting its supposed new deliveries of life-saving PPE – which appear to consist of the same expired equipment re-labelled.
So hasty has been the relabelling that in some cases even the new sticker is expired, with some of those involved in printing new stickers reverting under pressure to 2019 instead of 2020:
Meanwhile, most NHS staff appear not even to have received equipment that would have been compliant with World Health Organisation standards if it wasn’t expired.
Within minutes of the government’s boast during last night’s press conference, BBC footage of NHS staff showed all of them wearing simple paper surgical masks that provide no meaningful protection against the virus.
The Tories have spent a decade in a covert but devastating attacking on the NHS – and they are now trying to hide the consequences – even misreporting the true death toll by as much as half.
Their dishonesty is going to cost the lives of patients and of the NHS heroes trying to save them.
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