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MPs criticise ‘staggering’ failures at UK Health Security Agency

Britain’s lead public health body has a staggering lack of control over billions of pounds of spending, and there is no plan for stockpiling vaccines or personal protective equipment (PPE) for a future pandemic, a damning MPs’ report has found.

The public accounts committee was highly critical of the repeated governance and financial failings at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which was set up with great fanfare under Boris Johnson.

Meg Hillier, the committee chair, said it would be “utterly inexcusable” for the government to have failed to make serious preparations for future health emergencies and warned the lack of a plan for stockpiling could leave health workers once again exposed to danger as they were in 2020.

The committee lambasted the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), which oversees UKHSA, for lacking a strategy for reserves of PPE, vaccines and medicines despite its mandate to protect the country’s health security.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 July 2023


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