A dentist has been criticised for selling surplus face masks for £50 each – at least double their usual cost.
Toby Talbot, from the privately-run Talbot Clinic in Bath, has written to people living nearby to offer them a chance to buy FFP3 masks.
Bath’s Liberal Democrat MP, Wera Hobhouse, said it was “disappointing” and said any surplus equipment should be given to NHS front-line staff.
Mr Talbot has been approached by the BBC for a comment.
In a letter sent to local residents, Mr Talbot said the availability of FFP3 masks to the general public “will be severely rationed”.
“As a provider of healthcare services in Bath, we will be receiving a supply of FFP3 face masks next week,” the letter said.
It added: “After we have supplied healthcare staff, we will have a surplus to offer our immediate neighbours who need to venture outdoors.
“We would like to offer our neighbours the opportunity to have these masks for their own personal protection as well as members of the household, at £50 per mask.”
FFP3 respirator masks are generally considered by experts to offer the most amount of protection against coronavirus because of their effective filters, and would normally cost about £10-£20 each.
Ms Hobhouse said: “It is very disappointing to see a private company selling masks to neighbouring households within our community when we know there is an ongoing shortage of PPE for key workers.
“I would encourage any company that finds themselves with a surplus of this equipment to donate it to front-line staff so that they can be fully protected as they are exposed to the virus.”
Local resident David Entwistle said he contacted Ms Hobhouse after a letter was posted through his letterbox.
“At a time of national shortage of PPE, this is naked profiteering posing as neighbourly public service,” he said.