£15 billion for PPE? Really? Something feels very wrong here

Posted on

The government has claimed it has spent £15 billion on PPE as a result of coronavirus. Given that we know there shortages of PPE until very recently I am taking ‘spent’ as meaning that amount has been used.

Now, there are 500,000 front line staff in the NHS who need PPE.

That’s £30,000 each.

If care staff are added maybe 2 million people are affected, but many of the others will have much simpler PPE need.

Assume it’s spread evenly. That’s £7,500 each.

And the crisis is 120 days old at most. But in work terms call it 100 days at most each.

So that’s 200 million work days.

Or £75 per person for PPE per work day.

People I speak to say this sounds absurd. A gown is 50p. Gloves and masks are normal and used all the time. They cost pennies each. OK, lots are used, but not that many. And sure full suits are more, but most aren’t wearing them. And visor masks? How much are they?

Something about this does not stack, especially when we know most could not get PPE for love nor money during this period.

Who is not telling the truth?

And who is making a fortune?

Or is there fraud somewhere?

As an auditor (and I was for many years) I smell what I would simply suggest is ‘something not right’.

This claim needs investigation.