Wednesday, July 1, 2020

OUTRAGEOUS - Facemasks - Now recalled....

I have written a lot about facemasks and particularly the impact of them on those living with Dementia.

Today I have different concerns, I don't know my next steps in this regard.  But I need to write this down somewhere.

At the start of the pandemic everyone is aware that there were issues with  PPE supply chains.  The "National Supply Disruption Resolution team" which, I believe, came under the NHS dispatched 300 Type 11R fluid repellant facemasks.  We were encouraged to buy future supplies from Government approved suppliers.  I bought over 1800 additional masks from Countrywide Health - an approved supplier.

At the end of April we noticed that the nasal strip on the facemasks was failing and particles were getting up our nose and in our mouth.  On close inspection, ALL of the boxes had a sticker over the best before date extended the 2016 expiry date to 2021.

On 3rd May I called the CCG and NHS PPE team, expressing concern about the extended expiry dates and the masks failing. I also emailed them.  They called me back and said to keep using them as they were better than nothing.

PHE also referred me to the HSE following my email to them.

On 4th May I called the National Supply Disruption Resolution Team - they told me to call NHS England as they "didn't deal with issues of expiry dates"  They told me they "thought" they were re-evaluated.  I asked for the certification of this.  They told me to call the "CPC" but could not tell me who the CPC were or what the telephone number was.  I called Countrywide, they told me the Department of Health told them they were ok to sell and that the Department of Health had the certification relating to the extended expiry dates.

On 7th May I emailed the HSE with details about my concerns about the masks failing and the extended best before dates.

On 20th May HSE sent my email to MHRA - regulator of medical devices.  They asked for more details which I sent that day.

On 2 June MHRA replied and said that they were looking into this.

TODAY an email was sent from the Local Authority Resilience Team that reads as follows;

We understand that the following masks have been recalled from the NHS supply chain. We believe these have only been issued through the NHS supply chain and therefore it is unlikely that you will have any in your setting. However, as a precaution please review the attached document which provides further details and check that have not been supplied with any of these masks.

What does this mean?
1.  We have been using facemasks which have not been fit for purpose.
2.  It has taken eight weeks for my concerns to be dealt with - is this an acceptable timeframe, in relation to PPE?

I literally have my head in my hands.  I had to write this down to share this.  How on earth has this been allowed to happen?

Luckily I have some other facemasks which we are using (as of 30 minutes ago).

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