The Department of Health and Social Care has announced it will be putting in place a Parallel Supply Chain for health and care providers to access PPE during the coronavirus pandemic.
This will be a dedicated PPE supply channel, and core products for COVID-19 will flow through this. The aim is to improve the delivery of essential items, both in terms of speed and reliability, and to ease the pressure on the usual supply chain so that it is able to deliver other products that are needed day-to-day.
A communication outlining the measures states that, until this new solution is fully operational, two processes are being undertaken:
- The Department of Health and Social Care is working to provide stock of PPE equipment to wholesalers and distributors for pharmacies, GPs, dentists, adult social care providers, and the third sector. It suggests that this will enable more providers to order PPE through their usual supply chains.
- The Department of Health and Social Care has mobilised the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR). It asks providers who have an urgent need for PPE, who are unable to fulfil this need through their business as usual channels, to contact the NSDR via the 24/7 helpline: 0800 915 9964 (Freephone number in the UK). Callers will need to have certain details and information to hand, and this is listed in the letter.
In the letter announcing the Parallel Supply Chain for PPE access, there is also a list of frequently asked questions, as well as details of business as usual suppliers of PPE.
Read the letter in full on the Care Quality Commission website.