An urgent alert has been issued to remove Tiger Eye glasses from NHS supply chains because they do not meet safety standards, reports the Telegraph.
A total of 25.6 million pairs of eye protectors were reportedly purchased in 2009 as part of a pandemic stock, for use in low-risk environments.
But in the latest failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to the NHS front line – vital to protect health workers from the highly contagious virus – 15.9 million were distributed to hospitals.
Hospitals were urged to immediately remove eye protectors from their stocks after it was found that the British Standards Institute did not recommend them when treating patients with coronavirus.
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With the NHS currently needing around 3 million pairs of glasses a day, the revelation amounts to the loss of more than eight days of supply.
The government said the equipment “should have been checked at the time of purchase.”
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs told The Telegraph: “The safety of health, care and all front line staff is our top priority.
“The Tiger Eye protectors were purchased in 2009 and were in CE marked boxes.
“These have been rechecked, and following these assessments, we have issued an alert to clinical settings advising against their use and are removing them from the supply chain. “
It comes days after nearly 100,000 people signed an open letter to Boris Johnson demanding a public inquiry into the deaths of NHS personnel and the shortage of personal protective equipment during the Covid-19 crisis.
At least 150 health and care workers are now dead fighting the pandemic, and activists and charities want the Prime Minister to make a firm commitment to investigate once the battle is won.
The open letter, compiled by The Doctors ’Association UK, comes after polls showed that one in five primary care physicians received unusable PPE.
It also follows revelation earlier this week that a shipment of 400,000 surgical gowns from Turkey failed security tests.
The RAF stole the medical kit two weeks ago after several delays, an argument over who supplied them and disputed figures on the number of people who actually showed up.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that the dresses were to be seized from a warehouse near Heathrow Airport as they did not meet NHS standards.
Cabinet Minister Brandon Lewis has admitted that they have been shown to be “not of the quality that we believe is sufficient for our front line staff.”