50 million facemasks bought by government will not be used by NHS due to safety concerns


50 million face masks bought by the government as part of a multi-million-pound deal in April, will not be used by NHS after major security concerns were raised about there effectiveness.

The £252m contract was signed with Ayanda Capital on April 29 with the Department of Health and Social Care. The deal was part of the government’s strategy to counter the lack of PPE equipment available to the NHS in the early months of the pandemic.

The masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough to counter any spreading of the virus.

It has also been reported this week that the government trade advisor who set up the deal was also on the board of Ayanda Capital.

The government has today announced that it has begun a search for new suppliers to meet the growing demand for masks and other PPE equipment.

Alan Murray, chief executive of the British Safety Industry Federation said: “The face fit is either a pass or a fail and there are more fails on products with ear loops than there are on products with head harnesses. That means that it wouldn’t necessarily provide the protection that was required from it.”

Ayanda Capital also supplied 150 million Type IIR masks, which will still be used within the healthcare system.