Personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpiles in England were inadequate for the Covid pandemic and price rises earlier this year cost taxpayers about £10bn, the UK spending watchdog has said.
The National Audit Office said there had been a particular shortage of gloves and aprons.
The government said the NAO’s report recognised that NHS providers had been able to get what they needed in time.
Almost £12.5bn was spent on 32 billion items of PPE between February and July 2020. During the same period in 2019, 1.3 billion items were bought at a cost of £28.9m.