Free PPE support to health and social care providers during the COVID pandemic has been extended until March 2022.
Yesterday, the Government confirmed that it was extending the provision of free PPE to health and social care providers until the end of March 2022 as the expectation of clinical experts is that usage will remain high throughout the next financial year. Care England said that the Government has made clear that the vaccine is not a silver bullet and the care sector must remain astute by maintaining high levels of infection prevention and control. PPE plays a huge role in this.
Although setting up free PPE via a centralised mechanism took some months, the current system means that providers can order and receive PPE thus maintaining a high level of sustainability and resilience in relation to PPE supply. Equally as significantly, there is the ability for the system to respond nimbly to the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said, ‘PPE is one of the main barriers in a care setting to limiting the spread of COIVD-19 thus Care England is pleased that the Government has listened to its pleas for an extension to free PPE as it will help protect some of society's most vulnerable as well as our staff at the frontline.’
‘PPE also plays a critical role in the wider COVID-19 response, such as enabling visiting to care homes. We do not know what the winter this year will bring but free, rigorously tested PPE gives providers a chance to be prepared.’
Vic Rayner, CEO of The National Care Forum (NCF) announced her response on Twitter: ‘Great news! - very reassuring to have this commitment at the beginning of the new year - helping with planning and supporting Infection Prevention and Control measures.’
Visit the Government website to access the PPE portal and for more information.
A report, COVID-19: Government procurement and supply of Personal Protective Equipment, published by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, outlines PPE supply shortages in the social care sector during the first wave of the pandemic.