Daniel Zeichner MP has slammed the government for allowing “a mayhem market” in protective equipment that is leaving everyone worse off.
Mr Zeichner said he was shocked to learn that individual care homes, as well as the Cambridgeshire police force and countless other front line services are all separately sourcing scarce PPE.
He said “They are battling it out on the open market – this is ridiculous. I am being told time and again that huge amounts of time and energy is being spent by different parts of the public and private sector chasing PPE.”
The Cambridge MP says the government could use its bulk buying power more effectively and set up a coordinated procurement scheme. He cites how a European Union scheme involving eight companies has secured £13 billion of protective equipment.
The Cambridge MP says he has been told how different parts of the public sector have been calling the same suppliers; how prices have rocketed; and how suppliers have turned down individual care homes because they do not want enough PPE.
He continued: “This is no time for the mayhem of the market. There are limited supplies and multiple buyers. The government need to get a grip and centralise procurement to create more efficiency and cut costs.”