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Personal Protective Equipment Transition

The Department of Health and Social Care’s scheme to provide free COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health and care providers ended on 31 March 2024, meaning that NHS Supply Chain PPE orders must be made through the Catalogue from 1 April 2024 onwards. The last order date from the Foundry platform was on 31 March 2024.

PPE PortalCommunity, Non-Acute, and Primary Care Healthcare Partners

The PPE Portal was an online platform that was set up originally to distribute PPE to eligible primary care, social care and public sector organisations, free of charge to meet demands that had arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following the closure of the PPE portal on 23 May 2024, local arrangements will need to be made to purchase PPE.

See our Useful Links section for NHS England Measles guidance and best practice.

PPE Transition FAQs

Below are three sections of FAQs based on how your order your PPE products; NHS Trusts (Acute) Customers, Other Healthcare Partners (Non-Acute) Customers and General/Other queries.

NHS Trusts (Acute) Customers

Where is the product listing available for products which have transitioned back into NHS Supply Chain?

See our Downloads section to access the ‘Transitioning PPE Products Product Listing’.
 

What do I need to do to order the PPE products moving from Foundry to NHS Supply Chain?

PPE products which become purchasable via NHS Supply Chain, will need to be ordered the same way you would order any product available through NHS Supply Chain, for example via Online Ordering, eDC etc.

Will all the products moving to NHS Supply Chain be ‘Stocked’ lines?

PPE products which become purchasable via NHS Supply Chain will be available through one of the three normal supply routes; Stocked, Blue Diamond, eDirect

How will my deliveries of PPE ordered through NHS Supply Chain be made?

PPE orders placed via NHS Supply Chain will be delivered as per the products standard supply route.  Stocked and Blue Diamond products will be delivered to your existing NHS Supply Chain delivery locations, on your current preferred delivery day(s) and on your standard delivery media, for example cages or pallets.

Do the FFP3 resilience principles remain mandatory in acute settings?

The FFP3 resilience principles are mandatory in acute settings and are part of EPRR Core Standard 12. Trusts must continue to record their fit test data through ESR. See our Useful Links section to access the NHS England FFP3 resilience principles.

How do I find out the price of each of the transitioning products?

The ‘Transitioning PPE Products Product Listing’ has the available pricing for all relevant PPE Products. See our Downloads section to access this product listing. When products transition across to the NHS Supply Chain catalogue we will also update the relevant Contract Information Pages and related product listings.

Other Healthcare Partners (Non-Acute) Customers

For primary and adult social care customers, will the PPE Portal still be functioning?

No, the Department of Health and Social Care’s scheme to provide free COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health and care providers ended on 31 March 2024. Following this, the portal closed on 23 May 2024 with the last delivery date occurring week commencing 27 May.

Where can I obtain PPE now the Portal has closed?

If you have an NHS Supply Chain account, then you can purchase PPE through our online catalogue. If you are a healthcare provider but don’t have an NHS Supply Chain account then you may be able to apply for one, although requests for new accounts will be subject to normal approval processes and criteria. Please note that we cannot deliver to individuals or to residential addresses. If needed, please refer to your local healthcare provider for further guidance and support.

I haven’t received an item that I ordered, what should I do?

For orders including paid stock, if the item you purchased is no longer available, a refund will be issued. Please note in some cases, your delivery may require more than one box to ship to you. Occasionally, this means that the items are separated and may, come in more than one delivery.

Will the PPE Portal offer refunds or exchanges on paid for products?

Due to necessary health and safety precautions, all PPE products are final sale. These items are non-refundable and non-returnable, unless the item purchased is broken or damaged and not of satisfactory quality, whereby we will offer a refund.
If you have any issues or concerns about your product, please contact the PPE Customer Service Team on 0800 876 6802 (open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) up to Thursday 30 May 2024. From Friday 31 May, email your query to Customer.Service@supplychain.nhs.uk using the term ‘PPE Portal Refund Request’ as the email subject title.

How long will it take for my refund to appear on my card?

A refund will appear on the original card used for the purchase within 10 working days. If you are experiencing any issues with refunds, please email your query to Customer.Service@supplychain.nhs.uk using the term ‘PPE Portal Refund Query’ as the email subject title. 

Will I be able to claim charitable VAT relief on paid products on the PPE Portal?

Yes, if you believe you are eligible to claim charitable VAT relief on your paid purchases on the PPE Portal, from the 3 April 2023, there will be a new section under ‘My Account’ on the PPE Portal, which will allow you to complete a VAT Declaration to declare your eligibility.
 
Please note charitable relief is only applicable on specific products, so please refer to the guidance published on the Portal from the 3 April 2023 to find out more.

What advice or guidance is available on PPE use?

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the UKHSA, an executive agency sponsored by DHSC, have published guidance and recommendations on PPE.
See our Useful Links section for the guidance currently available. The guidance is regularly reviewed, and the pages updated with any potential changes.

Who should I contact if I require additional support?

Contact the PPE Customer Services Team via 0800 876 6802 (open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) up to Thursday 30 May 2024. ​From 31 May, email your query to Customer.Service@supplychain.nhs.uk, including the term ‘PPE Portal Query’ at the start of the email subject title.

General/Other

What happens if there are future COVID-19 spikes and an increased demand for PPE?

A pandemic preparation meeting would be held with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and other executive agencies to agree on actions to take. We have the operational capability to stand ordering platforms back up if required.

What should we do with expired or soon to be expiring stocks of PPE?

Where possible, share via mutual aid it to local trusts, non-acute organisations, hospices, and adult social care providers.

Contact your local authority and see if they have any use for the stock.

Donate as humanitarian aid through charitable organisations – depending on what the stock is, Turkey, Syria and/or Ukraine could have uses for it.  

Send expired the PPE to landfill – the last option as this incurs cost but PPE ordered is that of the responsibility of the customer once received, hence the important requirement for accurate stocktakes to be submitted on a weekly basis.

Who should we contact if we have any clinical PPE queries?

Please contact Roger Kirkham (roger.kirkham@supplychain.nhs.uk) should you have any clinical queries relating to PPE.

What brands of FFP3 masks will transition to the NHS Supply Chain catalogue?

The majority of FFP3 masks from the Department of Health and Social Care catalogue are on the NHS Supply Chain Single Use PPE framework, so will continue to be available once the free stock has depleted. This includes 3M, GVS, Kolmi, Alpha Solway and Draeger.

Please note, Honeywell FFP3 Masks SuperOne RFFPIIIU0123 is being discontinued.

Are all gowns under the new framework?

Gowns made available under the new Single Use PPE and Medical Protective Consumables framework must comply with our internal clinical assurance process. See our Useful Links to access the framework information page for full details of the products and suppliers are available.

Will the fit-testing programme still be funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)?

No, as most trusts now have their own skilled resources available, the DHSC will end central funding of this programme on 31 March 2023. Trusts need to make their own arrangements for fit-testing moving forward.

Downloads ▼

  • Transitioning PPE Products Product Listing

    An Excel file showing the products transitioning from free to paid PPE. Last updated on 8 May 2024.
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