What was the real value of a PPE contract via the VIP channel.
A PPE contract award of just over £4 million, however DHSC spend shows that the government spent over £35 million with this well connected company.
Blueleaf Ltd are based in Horsham, they provide a one stop shop for Care Homes and were awarded a PPE contract by DHSC.
I have followed Blueleaf & their parent company Global Consortium Ltd over the last 3+ years. There is a huge anomaly in the contract award to Blueleaf versus the reported DHSC spend with Blueleaf.
The contract worth £4 million was awarded on 26th May 2020, for surgical IIR masks. The masks were manufactured by Hunan EEXT Technology & Service co. This contract was awarded via the VIP channel. The Government appointed logistics company Uniserve Ltd were collecting from the order direct from the manufacturer.
In terms of PPE procurement during the pandemic this was a small contract. However this does not match the published DHSC spend with Blueleaf, as between the 21st July 2020 and the 3rd Sept 2020, the DHSC spend shows that a total of £35.9 million of invoices were processed for Blueleaf by the DHSC!
Blueleaf accounts on companies house show a turnover which would appear to confirm a much bigger contract. There has been no update to this contract & there are no other contracts published. I am unable to find any previous contracts with the DHSC or any involvement in framework agreements.
Blueleaf's turnover was £98 million in 2020, the previous 18 months was £38 million. The accounts for 2021 & 2022 show that turnover has dropped back to pre-pandemic levels. It would suggest an additional £60 million in turnover for 2020. Profit was up £10 million, company has made losses pre & post 2020.
I also found that Blueleaf were part of a roundtable with minister Helen Whatley and ten other suppliers on the 12th May 2020, just 2 weeks prior to the award of the contract. This does make sense as it was about PPE distribution in adult social care settings.
Blueleaf is owned by members of the Exclusive Plymouth Brethren, it is interesting to note that of the 10 other companies on this roundtable, a further 2 were also brethren companies (Nexon & Protoc). Blueleaf bought/merged with Nexon in July 2023.
It is also of note that govt were recommending a number of suppliers to supply PPE to care homes at the start of the pandemic. This included some on the roundtable including Blueleaf. These suppliers had access to emergency PPE from the govt. It is unclear how these were selected.
It is also somewhat odd, that of these seven wholesalers/companies, that only Blueleaf saw a huge leap in turnover & profits. Bunzl own Careshop & Delivernet. The other are all family companies & their accounts show only small differences from pre-pandemic accounts.
The written evidence by charity Leonard Cheshire to a parliament committee shows just how much chaos existed in the Social care PPE supply chain in the first few months of the pandemic.
A number of question remain unanswered, including:
Another oddity is that Nexon is/was owned by the Green family of Lincoln. This includes Ralph Green. He is now a director of Blueleaf, he is also a director of Unispace/Sante Global who won £950 million of Covid contracts.
The picture shows Peter Green with the Speaker of the House at an event at Westminster.
It was also interesting to note that local Tory MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney commented on the post of the picture confirming that it was Peter Green and at the same time showing that Green was clearly well known to McCartney.
The final thing of note is in the Blueleaf accounts for 2020. Where an unlimited company (now dissolved) charged commissions of over £6 million. BL assets unlimited & was owned by the Andrews & Campbell families, the owners of Blueleaf. As an unlimited company no accounts are published for BL assets unlimited.
A contract worth £4 million. DHSC spend of £35 million.