Latest Updates on COVID-19 and Managing Demand for Products
We continue to run daily webinars highlighting the latest updates about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential products and services during the current situation.
See our Useful Links 🔗 section for the link to all of the information we publish about COVID-19.
Today we held our first daily customer webinar providing the latest updates regarding PPE and demand managed products in response to COVID-19.
We will be adding information to this page as soon as we can.
On 6 March 2020, Public Health England (PHE) updated its COVID-19: infection prevention and control guidance specifically on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
See our Useful Links 🔗 section to read the full PHE guidance document including the PPE update.
- We will be in a position to provide additional face masks to our customers from Monday 9 March 2020 onwards.
- These stocks are being drawn from national stockpiles.
- We will start issuing the stock with the shortest shelf life for use in order to help ensure continuity of supply for all of our customers. We will retain the longest life stock in the stockpile for distribution at a later date.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) and Public Health England (PHE) have agreed that NHS Supply Chain needs to continue to manage the demand for certain PPE products to maintain continuity of supply across the network.
We have seen an increased demand for PPE products over the last few weeks as NHS trusts have put in place preparedness measures. As a result, we are implementing controls on excessive order quantities to ensure stocks are managed fairly for all customers. Demand management controls have been introduced and therefore we will be continuing to manage any adverse ordering patterns from individual organisations.
You may need to consider buying alternative products if necessary whilst a specific product line is temporarily unavailable in order that their order can be fulfilled.
We’re working closely with suppliers to manage stock levels of the identified key product lines outlined in PHE’s guidance. Many of these lines are stock piled and available to flow in the system. Exceptionally large orders or unplanned stock piling at a local level places unnecessary strain on the supply chain at a time when there is disruption to production and the transportation of products that are made in China. We have stock on order from UK and European sources in addition to suppliers based in the Far East.
If organisations do experience difficulties in obtaining products they require, then they should contact NHS Supply Chain’s Customer Services in the first instance.
See our Useful Links 🔗 section to contact your customer service manager or view relevant Important Customer Notices.
Should you be unable to resolve the situation and it leads to an immediate impact on patient care and staff safety, they should then contact their local EPRR lead (Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response).
NHS Supply Chain’s response for managing any cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections
We all need to work together to ensure that we are well prepared. To help us plan and monitor stock levels, please can you advise us with as much notice as possible of your product requirements through contacting your customer service team who will provide you with support.
Working closely with DHSC, NHSE/I, we have identified the key product lines outlined in PHEs guidance and are carefully monitoring our stock levels and trust ordering levels in line with this guidance. Many of these lines are stock piled and available to flow into the system. Exceptionally large orders or unplanned stock piling at a local level places unnecessary strain on supply, therefore we may need to manage any adverse ordering patterns from individual organisations. Your co-operation is essential in helping us to manage our stock levels and in maintaining availability of product.
All organisations are working together to ensure that business continuity is maintained. We are also checking all products that have China as country of origin to ensure that these stocks will continue to flow. We will also look to source alternative products where possible from different countries of origin to maintain continuity of supply.
We are committed to supporting you and will endeavour to meet your needs. If you require any further information please See our Useful Links 🔗 section to contact your customer service manager.