EXPOSED: How the Labour Government left Welsh health and care workers without critical PPE pandemic stock for nearly THREE YEARS
The Labour Welsh Government's pandemic stockpile went without a crucial piece of PPE for THREE YEARS, Plaid Cymru has discovered.
That's right. The Labour Welsh Government’s pandemic stockpile didn’t contain any surgical gowns prior to the Coronavirus crisis hitting Wales. How did this come to light? And why does it matter? Let's break it down...
"Gowns were not included"
The First Minister admitted in a letter to Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price that there were no gowns in the Welsh Pandemic Stockpile between June 2016 and February 2020. This comes after the UK Government were forced to admit the same by a BBC Panorama investigation on April 27th.
...but that's not what the Health Minister said!
This directly contradicts the claim made by the Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething when he responded to Andy Davies of Channel 4 News at the Welsh Government press conference on April 28th that the Welsh Pandemic Stockpile did include gowns when Coronavirus first arrived in the UK.
I’d asked the Health Minister what the @WelshGovernment had in terms of gowns, visors, swabs & body bags in its pandemic stockpile when the Covid-19 outbreak reached the UK 👇https://t.co/45nucJwcyF— Andy Davies (@adavies4) May 13, 2020
Labour double standards?
Labour's Shadow Health Secretary said the BBC Panorama programme "exposed government failures to provide our brave NHS staff with the life saving PPE they need."
The First Minister's admission surely does the same for the Welsh Labour Government.
Last night’s @BBCPanorama exposed government failures to provide our brave NHS staff with the life saving PPE they need. Ministers shouldn’t be trying to rubbish the contributors, they should take responsibility and ensure our NHS & care staff have the PPE they need. https://t.co/CGfJ0GGYcS— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) April 28, 2020
Failure to plan for a pandemic
NERVTAG, a UK Government body that advises on new viruses, recommended that gowns should be added to the Pandemic Stockpile in June last year. The Welsh Government, like the Westminster Government, failed to do that by the time the Coronavirus outbreak began.
The Welsh Government says it's not represented on NERVTAG. But it did have a representative on its PPE sub-group when it was formed in 2016. It's not clear yet if anyone in Welsh Government saw the June 2019 recommendation or if this potentially life-saving advice was withheld.
REVEALED: Labour Welsh Government didn’t have any gowns in their pandemic stockpile before Coronavirus hit - contrary to what the Health Minister said. pic.twitter.com/dWGe8p0G7x— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) May 13, 2020