This briefing provides an overview of the use and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in primary care, following revised guidance issued on 2 April 2020.
There have been very strong concerns among our members and the wider health sector that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is not reaching primary care teams in the quantity needed and in a timely fashion, leaving many clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), primary care networks (PCNs) and GP practices feeling unable to safely carry out face-to-face consultations with patients.
The House of Commons was told last week that more than 7.5million pieces of PPE had been shipped for distribution, but there is a lack of clarity on how CCGs and PCNs should procure or access them and get them to frontline professionals.
The revised guidance (2 April 2020) from the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland, Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement clarifies the type of PPE required for different circumstances. This guidance will be kept under review.
Through NHS Clinical Commissioners and the NHS Confederation’s PCN Network, we have fed our members’ concerns into this process, while recognising that there are still concerns about the supply and distribution of PPE.