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Government rations PPE available to GPs from central inventory

GPs have been told they can only access one pack of PPE a week from the new central PPE portal set up by the Government.

NHS England has also stressed that the portal is only meant to ‘supplement’ PPE that practices themselves source via wholesale routes.

The portal, which is operated in cooperation with eBay, was finally launched at the end of May after being touted since April.

But today, NHS England said this ‘central inventory’ is only ‘to supplement (not replace) the wholesale supply route that already operates.

The GP bulletin added: ‘Current order limits mean GP practices can order one combined pack, containing 50 IIR masks, 200 aprons and 400 gloves (200 pairs), per week or up to this amount of separate items. These limits may change over time.’

NHS England further told GPs that ‘orders through the portal should arrive within 48 hours if placed before 1pm’, while ‘orders placed after 1pm will be subject to an additional 24 hours’.

Pulse sister title Healthcare Leader previously reported that GP practices and care homes have been forced to buy PPE at heavily inflated prices, from profiteering businesses purchasing in bulk from suppliers.

Pulse also reported that GP practices looking to source emergency PPE using NHS England’s helpline were turned away and advised to buy their own.