08 October 2021
Extending free PPE to the health and care sector (England) - 8 October
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has provided primary eye care providers with the option of free PPE via its online portal since late last year. The DHSC will continue to provide this PPE until 31 March 2022. However, it is now running a consultation on whether to extend access to free PPE after this date.
The DHSC said that "given current [Covid] case levels and guidance, we expect PPE usage to remain at Covid-19 levels beyond March 2022, putting significant upward pressure on health and care costs in the next financial year". However, it also has excess supplies, which mean it is exploring two options.
- Extend free PPE for 12 months. This would continue as now, but "if you receive free PPE via distribution routes other than the PPE portal, these routes may need to change, and customers onboarded to the portal".
- No extension of free PPE beyond 31 March 2022. This would require all providers to make plans to purchase their PPE from 31 March 2022. However, DHSC acknowledges that this option would "increase the cost burden on providers", so it would explore "funding options to help mitigate this".
The consultation closes on 31 October. FODO will work with sector partners and respond to this consultation on your behalf. If you have any feedback, please email [email protected] by 20 October.