The following links are the most up to date government guidance on using PPE. It is vital that you understand and implement this guidance correctly.
Recent updates to guidance include:
- How to use them safely and when to use them, including which types of mask are for source control (protecting others from you), and which are PPE (protecting yourself as well as others).
- When sessional use of face masks is and isn’t appropriate. Sessional use of face masks as source control is recommended.
Waste generated within a care home, which is not generated by a healthcare professional, can be stored for 72 hours and placed in the domestic waste stream. This has been agreed with the Environment Agency, DEFRA, and the consultant waste contractor for DHSC, PHE and NHS.
Getting hold of PPE
This information sets out how providers can access and order PPE for the winter months. It is important that providers read this information so that they are aware of what is available to them.
Government PPE portal
You need to register for the Government’s PPE portal if you are one of the following providers:
- Residential social care providers
- Domiciliary social care providers
- Children’s care homes and secure homes
- Children’s residential special schools
- Substance Misuse Centres
Your invitation to register will have been sent to your email account which is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or NHS England. Information about contact details for children’s social care providers has been supplied to the Department of Health and Social Care by the Department for Education.
The Department of Health and Social Care will be re-issuing invitations to all eligible providers over the next couple of weeks.
You can use the portal to get a certain amount of free PPE (not just emergency provision) and there are limits to how much can be ordered. The amounts do not cover your business-as-usual PPE requirements, only the amount the Government’s demand modelling shows is needed specifically for dealing with COVID-19. Therefore, providers will still need to maintain their supply routes for business-as-usual requirements. Find more details on what you are eligible to order.
If you have any questions about using the PPE portal, are struggling to register or believe you should have been sent an email invite but have not, call the Department of Health and Social Care customer service team on 0800 876 6802. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week.
Government to extend free COVID-19 PPE for health, social care and wider public sector services until the end of March 2022
The scheme will now be extended beyond previous end in June 2021 as the expectation of clinical experts is that usage will remain high throughout the next financial year.
In order to protect the health and wellbeing of health and social care workers, as well as their patients and clients, the continued provision will ensure frontline workers can access rigorously tested and high-quality PPE.
PPE also plays a critical role in the wider COVID-19 response, such as enabling visiting to care homes and supporting emergency frontline services like the police, fire and rescue. Free PPE provision extends to all of these needs amongst public sector frontline workers.
This applies to PPE for COVID-19 use only as set out in PHE guidance, not for BAU (business as usual) PPE.
Norfolk County Council’s commercial offer
In July, Norfolk County Council made an offer to sell PPE at cost to providers who were experiencing disruptions in supply chains or would rather buy off the Council. This offer was due to end in October, but Norfolk County Council has made the decision to extend until the end of March 2021.
PPE available to purchase from Norfolk County Council:
- IIR face masks
- Aprons (16 Microns). Aprons are CE certified and have been tested to EN ISO7765-1 and EN ISO 6383-2 for tear and impact resistance.
- Medical nitrile gloves
If you are interested in purchasing PPE from Norfolk County Council please contact PPEShop@norfolk.gov.uk
Emergency PPE supplies
Norfolk County Council can issue out free stock in an emergency situation. Only those with Covid-19 positive or Covid-19 suspected cases will be allocated emergency supplies. The allocation will be for 3 days’ worth of stock which can be used as a bridging gap while you wait for supplies to be delivered through your own supply chains.
Email PPEShop@norfolk.gov.uk to request the following items:
- Hand sanitiser
- Clinical waste bags
- Hand soap
Email email@example.com to request FFP3 face masks and gowns.