FAQs

Answers to the questions raised during and after our customer webinars can be found below. We have grouped them into categories. Please note, if your question was very specific to an individual issue regarding your trust, we will resolve this separately with you and a member of our Customer Services or Account Management team will contact you.

Answers to the supplier webinar questions are available in the supplier FAQs.

Customer SupportDeliveriesEmergency OrderingExpiry DatesCommunity Healthcare PartnersHand Hygiene and Controlled Pull ModelOrderingPPE Logistics ServicePPERespirators and VentilatorsReturns and Discrepancies


Customer Support

What do we do if our Roll Cages have not been collected?

Please work with your Customer Services Advisor to review your position and arrange the return of any outstanding roll cages.

Does the returned data from Trusts on Elective surgery include eDirect and Blue Diamond products?

No, the returned data for Trusts on Elective surgery is related to stocked products only.

Where is the spend comparison guidance shared by Preeya Bailey?

On 30 April 2020, Preeya Bailey, spoke in our COVID-19 webinar. Her presentation and the spend comparison guidance is saved on the CPE portal: https://nhscpe.kahootz.com/

All Trusts have access to that portal.

Who do I raise a query with the safety/quality of products procured outside of NHS Supply Chain?

Health Service England (HSE) will answer your queries related to the quality and safety issues for products procured outside of the NHS Supply Chain.

How is NHS Supply Chain preparing to support trusts as they increase their elective procedures?

NHS Trusts have been asked to provide NHS England and NHS Improvements with their plans to increase elective procedures. This information will feed into the NHS Supply Chain to facilitate inventory planning.

How do Trusts get in touch with the Hospitals leading on sourcing specific PPE?

Your trusts’ regional leads should be the first contact point to source specific PPE. They are connected to the NHS England and NHS Improvement process.

How can I request a login to access the online COVID-19 documents?

We do not have a mechanism at present to make it visible for organisations without a customer information login.  We have raised this as a request to Public Health England.

For NHS Supply Chain Customers only, you can request a website login by registering here. This will allow access to the delivery manifests and webinar presentations.

If you are not a current NHS Supply Chain customer, you will be unable to obtain a website account.

What is an STP?

STP stands for sustainability and transformation partnership. These are areas covering all of England, where local NHS organisations and councils drew up shared proposals to improve health and care in the areas they serve.

Can NHS Supply Chain support separate clean delivery and dirty pickup locations for roll cages?

NHS Supply Chain roll cages should only be used in customer store locations. There has been a clear direction that our roll cages are not for laundry or ‘dirty’ use. It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that NHS Supply Chain roll cages are only used for the purpose for which they are provided.

How can I access the Trust Reporting system to see delivery manifests and order status?

Your own organisation Procurement and Supplies team will be able to assist you with access.

Where can organisations find their DoH code?

From your own organisation Procurement and Supplies team.


Deliveries

Should we be expecting “call-aheads” from drivers on BAU deliveries?

No, all BAU activities are back to normal service so you should be receiving deliveries on time. If there is any delay to your delivery, your NHS Supply Chain Customer Services Advisor will contact you.

Where NHS Supply Chain drivers currently have 24/7 access to our site, do you expect on site presence 24/7?

As it may not be your usual NHS Supply Chain delivery driver, a 24/7 presence will be required to allow the PPE stock to be delivered. However, out of hours deliveries will be communicated to the nominated emergency ordering contact prior to arrival. Please note that if the delivery is for PPE propducts fom the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel, this will be an NSDR delivery.

What is the weekend delivery window?

The weekend delivery window is from 6am to 10pm. If a delivery needs to be made outside of these times, we will notify your emergency delivery contact beforehand. Please note that if the delivery is for PPE products for the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel, this will be an NSDR delivery and may not be subject to this time frame.

Where an organisation has as multiple locations, where can it find out where PPE stock will be delivered?

We advise the organisation to contact its NHS Supply Chain Account Manager who can assist you to may any required delivery location changes.


Emergency Ordering

Who determines the level of clinical need that dictates what emergency PPE stock can recieve?

The EPRR team will assess where allocation is most needed and will assess the same day. Where part or full allocation is agreed there will be an additional 24 hour lead time. Allocation will be based upon current clinical need.

How long does stock requested via the EPRR take to come in?

The EPRR team will assess where allocation is most needed and will assess the same day. Where part or full allocation is agreed, there will be an additional 24 hour lead time. Allocation will be based upon current clinical need.

When do I contact NSDR?

For NHS Trusts, if you need more volume than you have been provided, having used all your local stock, and sought mutual aid from other Trusts in your STP, then escalate your emergency to NSDR.

For Community Healthcare Partners, please ensure you have followed your usual BAU procedures which may include wholesale provision, contacted your local trusts or health organisations for mutual aid, contacted your Local Resilience Forums (LRF), and submitted your emergency order through the PPE Portal . N.B. Only if the LRF or PPE Portal is unable to meet your urgent PPE needs, should you contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline.

Providers who need emergency supplies of PPE can continue to contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline on 0800 915 9964.

When contacting the NSDR 24/7 hotline, please have the following details to hand:

  • Name, email and telephone number of the requestor.
  • Name, email and telephone number of a contact for the next 24 hours (e.g. out of hours cover if the original requestor will be unavailable).
  • Delivery address, including postcode and named contact for receiving deliveries.
  • Confirmation that your organisation is able to receive the delivery outside of normal business hours.
  • Number of COVID-19 patients being treated (confirmed and suspected).
  • Number of beds in your organisation (if appropriate).
  • How long your current PPE stock provides cover for (e.g. <24 hours; 1-2 days, or more than 2 days).
  • Which products you are requesting and in what quantity.

Does NSDR cover the whole UK or just England?

NSDR covers the whole of the UK.

What does NSDR mean?

National Supply Disruption Response team.

Does the NSDR need daily escalation?

If a requirement has been logged with NSDR and has a CPC Case Number that meets NSDR requirements; there is only a requirement to raise again if you have a second requirement after the initial one has been resolved.


Expiry Dates

Why have PPE products been issued from the national stock pile with insufficient expiry dates?

Stock from the stockpile is being issued out in date order, with product with the shortest shelf life being issued out first. We will look into the potential to reallocate short shelf life product to areas that have an immediate need and can utilise in the time period of the shelf life.

Are Tiger Face Masks fit for purpose?

Shelf Life Extension testing is undertaken to rigorous international standards and should a batch fail, the whole batch is destroyed. Post the Shelf life extension testing, the products are independently retested.

Medline was commissioned to undertake the testing of the Type IIR Tiger Facemasks and advise this is done in accordance with EN14683:2014.

The main change from the 2005 version to the 2014 version, was regarding the harmonization of preconditioning requirements. This meant that you could test for both Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) and Differential Pressure (Delta P) with one test, where previously adhering to the 2005 version you had to carry out two separate tests. There have been subsequent updates but those changes were not related to the two extension tests referenced above.

In all respects, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England are satisfied the Tiger facemasks are fit for purpose.

Have type IIR face masks received extended testing for the expiry dates alongside the FFP3 respirator testing?

Some of the FFP3 Respirators and Type IIR masks have been subject to a certified shelf life extension programme with the manufacturer, and should have additional labels with the new expiry date on the boxes.

In the management of this stock, it has been considered prudent that Public Health England works with manufacturers to extend the life of their masks where possible. This is through a formal scientific testing programme, including accelerated aging, which allows for appropriate over-labelling with a later expiry date as specified by the manufacturer.

Is out of date stock being extended by manufacturers?

It is the responsibility of manufacturers to meet regulatory requirements. Some products may be given an extension to their expiry date, subject to testing.


Community Healthcare Partners

Is there any PPE stock available for NHS Property Services, particularly in relation to those cleaning health centres and GPs?

For advice on appropriate product usage please refer to the Public Health England advice for different patient groups and clinical activity.

How do I register for the PPE portal?

Community Healthcare Providers will be invited to join the portal via a registration email sent from the Department of Health and Social Care.

Are there plans to enable other GPs who were not registered with NHS England to be invited to the PPE Portal?

The decision and invitation to join the PPE Portal sits with the Department of Health and Social Care. As such, this query will need to be directed to the Dedicated PPE Portal Customer Services Team via 0800 876 6802.

How can those in the Primary Health and Social Care settings access Examination Gloves? Will there be appropriate stock levels made available from wholesalers?

Following the move for Examination Gloves to the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel, Public Health England has provided Wholesalers and Local Resilience Forums with Examination Gloves from its pandemic stockpile.

Are the PPE Portal items free of charge?

Yes, currently the PPE Portal items are provided free of charge.

When will we receive orders through the new PPE channel?

For NHS trusts, the new PPE channel will make daily deliveries from 31 March 2020.

For Community Healthcare Partners, the eCommerce portal is currently being reviewed and relevant customers will be invited to join when it is live. This portal is being set up by the Department for Health and Social Care and it is currently in stage three of testing. NHS Supply Chain has not been provided with a “go live” date.

Daily manifests can be found via the dedicated PPE Supply Chain Channel set up on 1 April 2020. Please visit https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/ for further information.

Can Community and Mental Health order PPE in the normal way?

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has developed a PPE Portal for Health and Social Care providers in the community. This portal is live and invitations to use the portal have been sent by the DHSC.


Hand Hygiene and Controlled Pull Model

What is the plan for the proposed change from push to pull model for hand hygiene?

The move to NHS Supply Chain network for hand hygiene has been temporarily paused by NHS England who is reviewing the move date. There will be 12 NPCs, which the manufacturers have rationalised to.

NHS Supply Chain Account Managers are contacting all NHS Supply Chain customers currently receiving hand hygiene deliveries from the Dedicated PPE Channel to confirm:

  • Preferred delivery location,
  • NPCs that you wish to order
  • Volumes.

When referring to hand hygiene products does this include both dispensers and bottles?

Yes, it does and the purpose is to ensure that customers can request the products that fit the dispenser estate within their organisation.

In the controlled pull model will we be reduced to one delivery point?

Customers will retain the same number of delivery locations as you currently have from the dedicated PPE channel. Please make your delivery locations clear with your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager.

Will hand hygiene products be delivered daily in the controlled pull model?

If you receive daily deliveries from NHS Supply Chain to your preferred delivery location for hand hygiene, your allocation levels will be made on a daily basis.

Are we going to be charged for products in the controlled pull model?

Any orders from the NHS Supply Chain are chargeable (cost price with no margin). The stock will be NHS Supply Chain stock, supplied by NHS Supply Chain suppliers. Customers will request the NPC codes that they require and the volume provided will be calculated by the NHS England and NHS Improvements ready reckoner, until there is sufficient inventory available to fulfill all demand.

Please could you advise if there are any restriction on ordering suspended products for hand hygiene products?

Until the move from the Dedicated PPE channel to the NHS Supply Chain network, your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager can notify the Dedicated PPE Channel of a specific brand of hand hygiene product you require for your dispenser estate.

Will we have to pay for the hand hygiene if the products return to BAU ordering?

All products purchased from NHS Supply Chain are subject to charging for the cost of goods.

How can we obtain hand sanitiser?

Hand sanitiser is a low stock item and is being issued when it is being received, following Cabinet Office PPE procurement cell purchases.

If a hand hygiene order is cancelled down will it cancel the entire order?

No. We will only cancel down the that which is over the allocation amount.

Based on the move to controlled pull model for hand hygiene products on which day should we place an order?

All customers are advised to place your order on your usual day. That is however many days in advance to be on your weekly delivery day.

Will Trusts be given their maximum order quantity under the controlled pull model for hand hygiene products?

We are developing a solution where we can notify trusts by 8am of their daily allocation of hand hygiene products. The products are to be ordered on the single requisition point. Further information will be shared in our upcoming COVID-19 webinars and related communications.

How do we order hand hygiene products under the controlled pull model?

Customers that normally receive a pallet push delivery via the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel will be able to place orders for the NPCs that they wish to receive by 11am. The orders will be placed on a single requisition point, provided to the Trust by NHS Supply Chain Customer Services. The volume of hand hygiene products that customers will be able to order is to be set by the NHS England and NHS Improvement allocation model.

Please note that this pull model is not in place, it is due to be transitioned to week commencing 18 May 2020.

When will the controlled pull model for hand hygiene products go ahead?

NHS England and NHS Improvement made the decision to pause the transition, originally intended for week commencing 18 May 2020. NHS Supply Chain Account Managers are continuing to collect relevant information to execute the transition. Currently, we are agreeing a new transition date with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Which customers will have access to the controlled pull mode for hand hygiene products?

The move back to NHS Supply Chain for hand hygiene products will only apply to NHS Supply Chain customers receiving deliveries from the Dedicated PPE Channel.


Ordering

If NHS Supply Chain are unable to fulfill orders which are placed, please can you confirm what will the Trusts be invoiced?

NHS Supply Chain only invoices for products dispatched.

Who do I contact about product availability?

Please ensure you are engaging with your own procurement and supplies team to check local stock availability. Those teams are the interfaces to NHS Supply Chain and will be best placed to know what has been ordered and what is due to arrive by PPE National Stockpile ‘push’.

With the new PPE Dedicated Supply Chain in place, will PPE products and BAU (non PPE) products have to be ordered separately?

If you are an Acute, Community, Mental Health, Ambulance Trust, commissioned CIC or Social Enterprise NHS customer, you will be receiving PPE Push deliveries to the procurement and supplies team in your organisation. Non PPE Products will be fulfilled through your normal ordering through the NHS Supply Chain.

Primary, Adult Social Care, Dentists, Pharmacies, Adult Care Homes, Hospices and third sector NHS customers are advised to order PPE from their wholesalers, LRFs or via the PPE Portal.

Is action being taken against organistion as regarding excessive increased volume and moving demand into NHS Supply Chain from elsewhere?

Yes, the NHS Supply Chain will contact all accounts with the usage that is causing an issue.

Can the disinfectant FAL649 be reinstated into the NHS Supply Chain catalogue?

All General Purpose Detergents have been moved from BAU NHS Supply Chain ordering and distribution to the Dedicated PPE Channel distribution. Therefore NHS Supply Chain is not able to make any General Purpose Detergents available through the NHS Supply Chain ordering systems.


PPE Logistics Service

Is there a date by which the national PPE deliveries will stop?

Currently, this is unknown and it is subject to NHS England and NHS Improvements decision.

Who informs suppliers on the product specifications for the required new PPE?

The Cabinet Office Procurement PPE Cell will respond to supplier queries relating to product specifications.

If and when will the Clipper Logistics function cease and the products return to NHS Supply Chain BAU?

The Dedicated PPE Channel is subject to review by NHS England and NHS Improvements. At present, there are no plans to reduce the activity through the channel.

Should Private Hospital providers which have NHS commissioned beds expect to receive PPE Push deliveries?

NHS England is currently advising that current providers, wholesalers, or Trust mutual aid, should be accessed by private providers. There is a review of PPE Pallet push delivery for private providers, and the dedicated PPE channel will respond to any NHSE instruction to add private providers to the pallet push schedule, when requested to do so.

Are PPE Push pallet deliveries continuing or are deliveries returning to NHS Supply Chain?

The Dedicated PPE Channel is going to continue for the foreseeable future.

In an NHS England and NHS Improvement letter we have been asked to prepare for restarting elective care. How this will be reflected in PPE Push stock for trusts?

NHS England and NHS Improvement are providing all the Trust allocation volumes and will be including any change in clinical activity in their modelling.

How will NHS Supply Chain customers use this new channel?

Customers are advised to check the new webpage created for this dedicated shipment channel: https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/

Here you can find information on the new Customer Services team set up to respond to PPE queries on deliveries. This new team will operate 24/7 and can be contacted on 0800 8766802. They will be focused on responding to the following queries for customers:

  • Check if you are on the current delivery schedule
  • Check what deliveries you will receive in the following 24 hours
  • Manage changes to delivery addresses
  • Address delivery discrepancies.

Existing NHS Supply Chain customers with queries regarding any other non-PPE NHS Supply Chain catalogue items, even if they have an urgent requirement for these items should contact their existing NHS Supply Chain Customer Services team contact in the usual way.

If trusts still have escalations round the availability of PPE stock they should continue to contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) unit on:
Freephone number in the UK: 0800 915 9964
Direct line: 0044 (0) 191 283 6543

How do we report issues with Clipper Logistics deliveries?

Please contact the Dedicated PPE Channel Customer Services Team on 0800 876 6802.

As an NHS trust will we receive some of all the PPE products daily in the Push deliveries?

Which PPE products your trust will receive will vary each day, on the Dedicated PPE Supply Chain website there are multiple sources on information on upcoming deliveries:

  • Forward view of 2-week delivery cycle by the customer, listing the day(s) you will receive deliveries.
  • Daily Manifest published on the Dedicated PPE Channel Website, listing what you will be delivered the next day.

Available here: https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/nhs-hospital-trusts/

How can we find out if we are one of the 256 organistions which are part of the PPE Push delivery system?

By contacting your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager, they will be able to confirm if you are part of the 256 organisations.

What products will the new PPE channel be distributing?

The new dedicated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply chain service that will operate alongside the existing NHS Supply Chain service. This new supply chain service – PPE Dedicated Supply Channel – will take on the delivery of all core PPE products used for managing and treating patients with COVID-19.

The core PPE products below will now be supplied through the new PPE Dedicated Supply Channel and will be suspended from the NHS Supply Chain catalogue.

  • Aprons
  • Body bags
  • Clinical Waste Bags
  • Eye Protection – Glasses
  • Eye Protection – Visors
  • NEW Examination Gloves
  • Face Masks Type IIR
  • Respirators FFP2
  • Respirators FFP3
  • FiT Testing Kits
  • FiT Testing Solutions
  • General Purpose Detergent
  • Gowns
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Swabs and Test Kits.

A full list of lines can be found be here https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/ppe-product-listing/

When will we receive orders through the new PPE channel?

For NHS trusts, the new PPE channel will make daily deliveries from 31 March 2020.

For Community Healthcare Partners, the eCommerce portal is currently being reviewed and relevant customers will be invited to join when it is live. This portal is being set up by the Department for Health and Social Care and it is currently in stage three of testing. NHS Supply Chain has not been provided with a “go live” date.

Daily manifests can be found via the dedicated PPE Supply Chain Channel set up on 1 April 2020. Please visit https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/ for further information.

Why has this new PPE Logistics service been set up?

The demand for PPE products is so unprecedented, that despite increasing staffing levels and running NHS Supply Chain’s network 24/7, more capacity is still needed to help ensure that PPE products are delivered to the front line.

The aim of the new PPE Dedicated Supply Channel is to improve capacity and provide further resilience to help ensure that both hospitals and community healthcare partner organisations get the PPE that they need. It will relieve pressure on the established NHS Supply Chain service which can focus on delivering all other products in its catalogue. It will provide more capacity to deliver PPE products to different types of healthcare providers such as GP surgeries, care homes, and social care organisations.

Who has responsibility for managing and operating this channel?

This new supply chain channel incorporates teams from NHS Supply Chain’s management function, Supply Chain Coordination Ltd (SCCL), Defence Equipment and Supply (DE&S) and the Clipper logistics team.

The ongoing availability of PPE products will be managed by a new Central Procurement team consisting of members of the Cabinet Office, NHS Supply Chain, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and drawing on the expertise of trust procurement colleagues from across the UK.

Which organisations can sign up to use this new PPE Logistics channel?

All community healthcare providers will be invited to register to use this new channel such as GPs, social care organisations, residential care homes shortly.

How will demand for PPE products for NHS Trusts be managed?

NHS Supply Chain is planning PPE demand for NHS trusts and reviewing target inventory levels with trusts and EPRR leads, evaluating the locations of COVID-19 positive cases. Orders will be fulfilled from dedicated warehouses, and palletised deliveries will be made daily by Clipper Logistics to the main trust delivery points.

This service will start for hospital trusts on Wednesday April 1 2020. The online portal for community healthcare partners has launched and providers will be invited to register via an email.


PPE

When will Examination Gloves return to the NHS Supply Chain catalogue?

Currently, this is unknown and it is subject to NHS England and NHS Improvements decision.

Can you provide an update on the status of haemofiltration products?

NHS Supply Chain will include updates on ICU and clinical consumables stock availability on its website and COVID-19 webinar series. Online there will be a list updated daily with alternative options that local clinicians will need to validate.

Can you confirm the process to obtain gowns?

Gowns are in short supply and therefore any requirement for Gowns should be logged with the NSDR who are allocating available gowns on an emergency basis.

Are you looking to remove CE marking requirements or other certifications to enable stocks to flow in to the supply chain?

All PPE procurement is being undertaken by the Cabinet Office specialist PPE procurement cell. They are also, therefore, working with regulators on appropriate standards.

Are body bags going to be added to the PPE list?

Body Bags are part of the PPE Push list. However, due to the short supply of Body Bags, these products are only being allocated by NSDR. This is until supplies of Body Bags are sourced by the Cabinet Office PPE Cell. Therefore if you require any body bags on an emergency basis, please raise a case with NSDR.

Does the PPE allocation model consider ‘changes’ in demand?

The NHS England allocation model takes Business As Usual ordering volumes for the winter flu season and then uplifts for Public Health England consumption advice. This is the basis of the NHS England allocation model.

Can schools be added to the current routes to PPE provision?

This decision lies with the Cabinet Office. Currently, schools are not in scope for NHS Supply Chain or the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel.

When will other BAU items such as wipes move back to NHS Supply Chain?

Wipes continue to be part of NHS Supply Chain ordering and deliveries, they have not moved to PPE Push.

How can I escalate a PPE product availability emergency?

The first step is to contact your NHS Supply Chain Account Manager, who can understand your request, check the PPE manifest and also check for other supplies available locally. If your Account Manager has exhausted all means of assistance the second step is to contact NSDR who is available 24/7 on 0800 915 9964.

Please note that NSDR is only to be contacted in the case of a clinical emergency, this constitutes as an instance where care would have to stop or change due to supply.

How do I know which face masks are latex free?

Most boxes should be CE marked. On the box it should state whether the masks contain Latex or whether they are Latex Free. Please note that printing the CE marking on the box is not a legal requirement. However, it is a legal requirement that if products contain latex the packaging must display:
Inverted triangle containing the word LATEX

If you have any additional or related questions, please contact productqueries@ppeenquiries.com

Are extra large gloves available to order through NHS Supply Chain?

No, XS and XL are 1-2% of the total volume. Consequently, these gloves need to be requested from NSDR, who have access to those sizings.

What are the examination glasses frames and lenses units of issue?

Examination Glasses comprise two self-assembly pieces, the lens is a single wrap-around strip that clicks into the frame. They are available in the following units of issue:

  • Frames – Boxes of 50, order 10 x BTP403
  • Lenses – Boxes of 500, order 1 x BTP404.


Respirators and Ventilators

How can I order ventilators please?

As per the statement issued by the DHSC on 16 March 2020, NHS Supply Chain is not able to process any new requests or orders for delivery prior to the week commencing 8 June 2020.

The DHSC statement is available to read on our COVID-19 page.

For questions or support please email: MedicalDevices@Supplychain.nhs.uk

Will I still receive ventilators which I have already ordered?

NHS Supply Chain is not able to process any new requests or orders for delivery prior to the week commencing 8 June 2020. To check on the status of any orders already placed and accepted, if you have any questions or require support please email: MedicalDevices@Supplychain.nhs.uk

Can you reuse the powered air respirators?

NHS Supply Chain is not able to give any guidance on product usage. This should be directed to Public Health England.

Who revalidated the FFP3 face mask respirators?

The independent organization used for the testing of FFP3 facde mask respirators was INSPEC International:
https://www.inspec-international.com/

Are Type 2R masks back in stock and supplies being freely distributed?

The supply of Type 2 Respirator masks is subject to NHS England and NHS Improvement allocation decisions. These decisions feed into the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel Push deliveries. For more information visit the Dedicated PPE Supply Channel website: https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/

What are Powered Air Purifying Respirators and where should they be used?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Powered Air Purifying Respirators are approved for use instead of FFP3 respirators if required. Unlike FFP3 respirators, they do not require fit testing and offer full face protection, meaning they can be used by colleagues who cannot use an FFP3 respirator for cultural reasons or are unable to achieve a fit test pass. Given the limited number Trusts should consider which staff may benefit best from their use.

Public Health England (PHE) has purchased a limited number of Powered Air Purifying Respirators – including Duraflow and Tornado models – for supply to NHS trusts in England.

These products also have a clear front, making the mouth and face visible and therefore useful for staff and patients who use lip-reading and facial expressions to support communication, including those with hearing loss, a learning disability, autism or dementia.

Powered Air Purifying Respirators are reusable – by the same or different staff member – providing the decontamination process is followed as per the maintenance instructions. Every product will be delivered with a battery and filters for a minimum four-week period. Additional filters can be ordered directly from www.arco.co.uk should you need more.

Training materials are available for each model and should support over and above this be required, RPA (a specialist fit test training company) are able to offer online training sessions and guidance to be booked via the following phone lines; 07376 304545 and 07376 304546.

How can I know which type of FFP3 mask will be sent out via the push?

At present FFP3’s are being pushed out based on stock on hand. A review is underway to determine if the new FFP3 masks procured can be allocated based on an organisations Fit Testing.


Returns and Discrepancies

Which back orders are now being processed?

When backorders were turned on, it only applies to orders made since 4 May 2020.

How are we to return quarantined stock?

NHS England and NHS Improvement will advise of the next steps, we will cascade this information when it is available.

What are NHS Supply Chain customers advised to do after having discrepancies?

In the current emergency response, NHS Supply Chain asks customers to log discrepancies and contact their NHS Supply Chain Customer Services Advisor to arrange a refund. Please note that refunds are only avialable on discrepancies at this time.

Are you accepting returns and back orders?

No, due to the COVID-19 related demand, we are unable to accept or process returns or back orders. We will prioritise the response to COVID-19 for as long as necessary but will address back orders and returns as soon as it is possible.

Unfortunately we are not in a position to facilitate any historical returns for health and safety reasons as there is possible contamination risk and because we need to comply with the Medical Device Regulations.

This means that any products which are sent to you in error needs to be retained by you and utilised within your trust and/or be subject to mutual aid where possible. If you do receive a product in error please report this via customers service to arrange credit where applicable.

We will let you know when we will be in a position to reinstate an updated returns process for any products sent in error after the date of when this process is live as it needs to address the current circumstances that we are operating in.

When will returns be accepted again?

Unfortunately, we are not in a position to facilitate any historical returns for health and safety reasons as there is possible contamination risk and because we need to comply with the Medical Device Regulations.

This means that any products which are sent to you in error need to be retained by you and utilised within your trust and/or be subject to mutual aid where possible. If you do receive a product in error please report this via Customer Services to arrange credit where applicable.

We will let you know when we will be in a position to reinstate an updated returns process for any products sent in error after the date of when this process is live as it needs to address the current circumstances that we are operating in.