Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
I am making this statement following the widespread public concern and interest in the procurement of PPE across the UK.
The awarding of Coronavirus contracts, in particular for the provision of PPE, has rightly been an issue of significant public interest since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. NHS Wales has responded effectively to the challenges of the pandemic balancing the need to secure critical services with extreme urgency whilst maintaining robust processes that have ensured value for money, safety of users and adherence to procurement regulations.
Since March 2020 over 451 million items of PPE have been distributed to health and social care in Wales. We continue to have a stable supply of PPE to meet the needs of our health and social care workforce. The vast majority of the PPE issued has been directly sourced by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership with all contracts awarded subject to robust governance. This includes additional scrutiny from a Finance Governance Group comprising of senior representation from audit, finance, counter-fraud, legal and risk. All contracts over £1m are also approved by the Welsh Government in line with the requirements of the NHS Wales Act 2006.
All contracts over the EU Procurement threshold are published on the EU public register – Tenders Electronic Daily.
Our priority now is to maintain a secure position and value for money on PPE over the longer term with Welsh businesses having an important role to play in strengthening the resilience of our PPE supply chains. NHS Wales PPE procurement plans blend local manufacture with international supply.
People in Wales should be assured about the probity and success of our PPE procurement.