Responding to reports that a highly anticipated and delayed PPE consignment did not meet safety standards on arrival, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“This illustrates the danger of making promises on a wing and a prayer. We have warned repeatedly that setting big targets which are then not met and saying all will be well, when at the sharp end of care it is manifestly not, undermines confidence among clinical staff on the front line.
“Local NHS leaders, who have been instructed to rely on the national supply chain, need to have the confidence they will be able to protect their staff adequately and we can fully understand their desire to source their own kit locally.
“Everyone in Government and at the top of the NHS is doing their best to support the response to this virus but it really is better to under promise and over deliver than the other way round. Too often rhetoric has not been matched by the reality on the ground.
“We know this is incredibly difficult and that there have been real improvements in supplies of PPE but let’s stop making grand pledges.”