Government recalls 200,000 faulty gowns supplied to NHS staff

Up to 200,000 protective gowns supplied to NHS hospitals have been recalled by the government because they do not meet UK health standards.

Hospitals have been told to check their personal protective equipment stocks to identify the faulty Flosteril gowns and remove them from circulation.

Tests showed the gowns fell short of the fluid-resistance standards claimed by the supplier, potentially putting staff at increased risk of coronavirus infection.

Some 200,000 defective gowns were estimated to be in circulation across the NHS.

Hospitals were told to isolate the gowns before they are collected by the Department of Health and Social Care.

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Hospitals running low on supply will be sent new gowns, DHSC said.

A DHSC spokesperson added: ‘The safety of health, care and all frontline staff is our top priority.

‘We have been made aware of a defect with some Flosteril gowns and have issued advice to health and care providers to check their stock for these gowns, quarantine them and await further instructions on their collection. We are arranging replacement stock for those who need immediate supply.’

The supplier, Vannin Healthcare, which is registered in the Isle of Man, confirmed to The Independent there was a ‘slight hiccup’ with the gowns, which were manufactured in Turkey.

A director at the firm said: ‘We had a slight hiccup with our product. We only learned about this two days ago but have taken immediate actions and are investigating what has happened.’

The faulty gowns is another episode in the government’s poor handling of PPE during the pandemic.

In April, the government scrambled to purchase PPE after supplies ran short for frontline health workers.

Staff were told to consider reusing PPE – even if it was labelled as single-use – because of shortages. Some staff resorted to buying their own PPE and taking it home to be washed.

A planeload of PPE delivered from Turkey was supposed to bring relief for NHS workers, but up to 400,000 protective gowns also failed to meet British standards and were removed.

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