BBC Panorama investigation ‘raises questions’ for Welsh Government
An opposition leader has called on the Welsh Government to reveal how much PPE it had in its stockpile prior to the Coronavirus.
The question was raised after a BBC Panorama programme aired last night revealed that the UK Government failed to buy crucial protective equipment to cope with a pandemic.
There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government’s pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK.
NHS staff say they are being put at risk because of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that the Welsh Government should now reveal how much PPE they had in their pandemic stockpile prior the Coronavirus crisis and whether they were prepared or not.
“The negligence of the Westminster government has been laid bare for all to see,” he said.
“They failed to prepare properly for an inevitable pandemic and this failure has put the lives of front line health and care workers needlessly at risk.
“Morriston hospital in Swansea was included in the BBC’s Panorama investigation as one of the hospitals who suffered due to a lack of PPE. In light of these revelations, the Welsh Government must urgently tell us how much PPE they had in their pandemic stockpile prior to the Coronavirus crisis. Were they at all prepared for the pandemic?
“And do they have enough PPE now to meet the demand and to protect our health and care staff?”
The investigation by BBC Panorama found that vital items were left out of the UK Government’s stockpile when it was set up in 2009 and that the government subsequently ignored a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment.
UK Government minister Victoria Atkins told BBC Breakfast she was “very, very sorry to hear” of the Panorama report.
“Like every other country in the world, [the virus] is unprecedented and the requirements for PPE have risen exponentially and we are doing our absolute best to address those needs and will continue to do so throughout this crisis,” she said.