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“Significant risk to life” because of MoD inventory failures

A new report has warned that out-of-date medical supplies issued to frontline personnel pose a "significant risk to life" because of Ministry of Defence (MOD) inventory failures.

Despite the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) issuing a warning 10 years about the MOD’s supply system, the new investigation found "many of those problems remain unresolved".

The committee said it was "sceptical" the MOD could solve the issues "given both its patchy track record and staffing gaps of around 25% in the relevant programmes".

The report also highlighted how the MOD failed to consider the needs of its medical operations when outsourcing how equipment such as food, clothing and medical supplies are stored and procured. As a result, MPs said units ended up being supplied with medical items "without sufficient shelf life for longer deployments".

According to the document, in 2022, the Royal Navy also said the situation represented a "significant risk to life" for its personnel if left unresolved.

The report found the MOD still holds "substantial amounts" of "unserviceable, overstocked" or out-of-date stock. 

The MPs recommended that the MOD set out its target for reducing its inventory.


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