The provision of free COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) has been extended until 2022.
The Department of Health and Social Care have formally extended the measure until 31 March 2022.
‘As part of a review of the provision of free COVID-19 PPE in April 2021, DHSC have considered the likely trajectory of the pandemic, the roll-out of the national vaccination programme and had engaged with a broad range of stakeholders, including wholesalers, to make an informed balanced decision with regards to the extension of free PPE,’ the letter reads.
‘DHSC has a duty to continue the promotion in England of a comprehensive health service. In the current environment, HM government must prioritise the health and safety of individuals in the social and primary care sectors.’
Last September, the government announced that NHS dental practices will get free PPE under a new plan.
The measure was put into action as part of a strategy to stockpile in preparation of a second wave.
The government now hopes it will be able to ensure a ‘strong supply’ going forward.
The letter adds: ‘We have seen a monumental change in the way that PPE has been secured and supplied across the country. We have learnt a great deal from this experience. We want to build on these learnings to transition to a future model that is both resilient and proportionate.
‘DHSC are currently analysing options for the future distribution of PPE beyond March 2022. Such options are focused on ensuring a strong supply of PPE for both health and social care staff. Taking into consideration a broad range of stakeholders, including all wholesalers.
‘We understand that you will be concerned by this decision. And would encourage you to continue working with officials across the Department to discuss your individual concerns.
‘We look forward to continuing our constructive conversations with you over the coming weeks.
Finally, we would like to thank you for your important contribution to protecting front line workers and others from the global pandemic and in particular its PPE distribution. The wholesale PPE channel has been a crucial component of our overall response to COVID-19.’
You can read the full letter here.
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