GP practices will be given a deadline of 5 February to submit claims to receive long-awaited reimbursement for Covid-19 PPE.
PPE purchased between 27 February and 31 December 2020 – and used by 31 March 2021 – will be covered under the claims process.
The period in which practices can submit their claims ‘will open as soon as possible and close on 5 February 2021,’ the guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care added.
Practices can claim for ‘PPE purchased where such items could not be supplied centrally’, the DHSC said, however PPE bought after 31 December is not covered because central supplies have now been ‘fully extended’.
The scheme only covers ‘standard’ Covid-19 PPE, as recommended for use by PHE, which the guidance defined as:
- type IIR masks
- eye protection (visors and goggles)
- hand sanitiser
- clinical waste bags
The scheme will also be limited by ‘claims thresholds’ determined by the DHSC and NHS England but most eligible providers were ‘expected’ to fall within these.
There will be some flexibility for ‘exceptional’ claims where ‘evidence’ is submitted, it added.
The guidance said: ‘It is recognised that for some aspects of service delivery in the pandemic, or where local risk assessment deemed it necessary, higher grade PPE may have been required across different settings.
‘In such cases, contractors are asked to submit any risk assessments undertaken in support of such claims.’
The DHSC has aimed for the claims scheme to be kept ‘as simple as possible’ to ‘minimise the administrative burden’ for practices, it added.
Practices will make the claims from NHS England, or CCGs where these have delegated commissioning responsibility.
The document further acknowledged that ‘not all settings’ had ‘received [PPE] from central supplies when they needed it’, during the pandemic.
‘This occurred despite an unprecedented effort across government to purchase and distribute Covid-19 PPE products to all settings requiring it as part of infection control measures,’ it said.
GPs were finally invited in August to bid for reimbursement for costs incurred to date during the pandemic, after months of waiting for the support fund to be cleared by the Treasury.
However, it excluded details for how to claim for PPE, with NHS England saying at the time that further details on this would be communicated ‘soon’.
Most recently, NHS England said it would ‘shortly’ announce the process for GP practices to claim reimbursement for their Covid-19 PPE in October.
Pulse previously revealed that an out-of-hours provider has spent around £100,000 on PPE while awaiting the reimbursement promised by NHS England.