Stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) worth around £2.8 billion has been deemed as not fit for purpose, a health minister has said.

Lord Bethell revealed today that 1.9 billion items of PPE are in a category that is not allowed to be supplied to the NHS.

This information came to light when he was answering a Parliamentary question from Lord Alton of Liverpool around PPE that had not met the required level of protection.

“As of June 10, 1.9 billion items of stock were in the ‘do not supply’ category,” Lord Bethell said.

“This is equivalent to 6.2 per cent of purchased volume with an estimated value of £2.8 billion.

“We are considering options to repurpose and recycle items in this category which ensures safety and value for money.

“Discussions with suppliers are ongoing.”

There have been many issues that the Government has faced with regards to PPE not meeting standards.

Earlier in September it emerged that the Government was in dispute with several companies over £1.2 billion worth of PPE that was deemed not to be good enough or was undelivered.

Additionally, in July it was reported that a million masks supplied to the NHS as high grade did not meet the correct level of protection.

The masks were assumed to be FFP3 type, which can be worn by staff in intensive care or when certain procedures are carried out that can generate aerosols, thereby risking the spread of Covid.

Tests carried out in February found that the masks failed FFP3 requirements.