New plans for free PPE for general practice are to be announced next week, NHS England’s medical director for primary care has said.
In a bulletin, Dr Nikki Kanani said that arrangements already announced for boosting free PPE to adult social care to help protect care homes would be expanded to primary care.
‘DHSC will publish their PPE strategy next week, which will provide full details of the arrangements for primary care’, Dr Kanani added.
Pulse has approached NHS England for more details of the plans.
Dr Kanani asked all NHS primary care providers, including community pharmacy, to ensure they have registered on the PPE portal in preparation.
Currently there are weekly order limits for the PPE GPs can order from the Government Portal, which was initially set up only for emergencies.
Practices have been expected to use wholesale suppliers as their main source.
Earlier this month the Government reduced the number of visors GPs could order from the portal from 200 to 100 for a practice of 5,000 patients.
There have been ongoing issues with eye protection with the BMA’s August Covid-19 tracker survey, which polled over 1,200 GPs in England and Wales, finding that 10% of GPs got ‘no supply at all’ of eye protection in the past week.
Public Health England (PHE) has downgraded the PPE requirements for GPs delivering this year’s expanded flu programme.
Last month, PHE came under fire from the safety watchdog over ‘poorly-communicated’ PPE guidance, which the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch said had the potential to put patients at risk.