History teaches us that corruption kills – but this government refuses to learn

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Tuesday 25 May 2021 18:50
<p>Did substandard PPE lead to the deaths of NHS workers during the pandemic?</p>

Did substandard PPE lead to the deaths of NHS workers during the pandemic?

In the 17th and 18th century it was corruption by naval suppliers providing rotten timbers for ships, adulterating food supplies and defective gunpowder which caused sickness and loss of life at sea. Such corruption was eventually rooted out, and systems put in place to ensure the government got good value for money when spending taxpayers’ money. It was a long and difficult lesson to learn – that corruption kills.

Unfortunately this present government has repeatedly ignored the fact that rules are put in place for very good reasons. Giving million-pound contracts for PPE to companies with no experience of medical equipment procurement, and indeed prioritising those with no knowledge or experience over British companies which specialise in this area, resulted in hundreds of NHS staff dying unnecessarily in the pandemic.

No wonder Dominic Cummings wrote of needing to remove the vaccination rollout from the “smoking ruin” of the Department of Health. Entrusted to GPs, the rollout has gone smoothly. But the dithering and mixed messages still goes on with failure to secure our borders against incoming passengers from red list countries. Was the slow action on India for political reasons?

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