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MATT HANCOCK lied to MPs over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic, the GMB union said today.
As the under-fire Health Secretary was quizzed by the Commons health and science committees, GMB angrily pointed out that its members had even been issued with emergency guidance on the reuse of disposable PPE.
Mr Hancock described obtaining such equipment as “a huge challenge,” while claiming that “there was never a point at which NHS providers couldn’t get access to PPE.”
But the union said that it had raised shortages with his department several times.
GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “Matt Hancock either has no idea what happened under his watch during the pandemic or he is lying through his teeth.
“Our NHS members have been let down by the government throughout the crisis – and lack of proper PPE is probably their number one complaint.
“It appears Mr Hancock is either too incompetent or too untrustworthy to remain Health Secretary.”
Unison leader Christina McAnea accused him of having “rather a selective memory” over claims that ministers had throw a protective ring around care homes.
Ms McAnea said: “Terrified staff spent weeks without access to proper protective kit. Supply shortages forced care workers to either buy or make their own safety gear from whatever they could lay their hands on.”
Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Dr John Puntis said: “It is frankly an insult to front-line NHS and care staff to hear Matt Hancock say there was never a national shortage of PPE after so many of their colleagues have tragically died of Covid-19.
“Attempting to rewrite history may well save his own skin, but it will not bring back the many hundreds who have died from a lack of equipment who should have been protected.”
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