Viral Facebook post incorrectly claims that a list of PPE contracts are all unfulfilled

31 July 2020
What was claimed

£1 billion was given to 13 companies for PPE but no PPE has been supplied.

Our verdict

These contracts appear to be real contracts for PPE, but there is no evidence that the contracts were all unfulfilled.

A viral Facebook post claims that the government spent £1 billion on personal protective equipment (PPE) which never arrived.

The contracts listed are real, but there is no evidence to say that none of this PPE ever arrived.

For example, the first contract listed was to procure face masks from Ayanda Capital Ltd for £252 million. Ayanda Capital Ltd was the only bidder. Its Chief Operating Officer is quoted as saying that the contract was “successfully fulfilled.”

While it is undisputed that the PPE was delivered, it was subsequently revealed that the masks were deemed by the Department of Health and Social Care as not suitable for use in the NHS. It is unclear whether they were used elsewhere.

The second relates to a series of contracts awarded to Uniserve Ltd, amounting to £186 million. Uniserve Ltd was the only bidder for all five contracts. 

The company regularly publishes updates on its deliveries of PPE. We asked the company as to the status of PPE deliveries related to those contracts and will update this piece if we receive a response.

Concern has been raised about how the government procured PPE and other services during the pandemic. There have been reports of PPE being delayed or unusable.

It’s possible that some PPE contracts have not been fulfilled, but there is no evidence we’ve seen that all of the contracts, if any, listed in this Facebook post remain unfulfilled.    

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because while these contracts are real there is no evidence that all these contracts were all unfulfilled.

Update 11 August 2020

We have updated this piece with more information about the contract with Ayanda.

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