Following a public consultation, the government has decided to extend the provision of free PPE to the health and care sector to 31 March 2023 or until such time as the UK IPC guidance is withdrawn or significantly amended, whichever is sooner.
The main themes that were identified among those responses in favour of the continuation of free PPE are that the scheme has and will continue to:
- protect staff and patients in a broad range of settings, allowing them to continue delivering their services safely
- relieve them of the financial burden associated with higher PPE requirements, and the rising costs of PPE
- alleviate the burden of undertaking procurement thus allowing health and care providers to focus on their patients and residents
- enable access to quality PPE of a reliable standard from a trustworthy source, which is particularly important while case numbers are still high, as face-to-face appointments are increased and to mitigate against any risk associated with waning immunity
DHSC has also recruited users to test a new platform that will replace the current PPE Portal. This is a representative group of existing portal users from across all sectors, experience levels and users’ needs. User research began in January.