EXCLUSIVE Some GP practices have been supplied with expired face masks that have concealed ‘best before’ stickers to fight the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Pulse has learnt.
Pulse revealed earlier this month that NHS England would provide practices with personal protective equipment (PPE) including 300 fluid repellent masks, 400 aprons and 300 pairs of gloves.
It has emerged that around 20 regions have received batches of face masks with a 2016 expiry date hidden by a ‘2021’ sticker.
Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMCs CEO Dr Matt Mayer told Pulse: ’We are hearing from practices all over our area that the PPE being sent to them is inadequate. To now find that it is not just out of date, but that the expired date has apparently been deliberately concealed is staggering.
’GPs are already being put at risk by inadequate PPE. This just further suggests that the Government regard us as expendable.
‘We demand a full investigation into this matter immediately by the Department of Health and expect criminal charges to be brought if this is found to have been deliberate.’
Pulse approached the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England for comment.
A recent Pulse survey revealed that two out of five GPs have still not received any PPE against coronavirus.
Areas so far reported to have received expired face masks include:
– Bath and North East Somerset
– South Cumbria
– West Yorkshire
– North-East Yorkshire
– West Midlands
– County Durham
More to follow