HealthNews

Government Launches New Online System for Free PPE

A new online platform to order personal protective equipment (PPE) in England has been launched, providing access to care homes and care providers to free PPE.

The new system builds on user feedback to improve the experience of those using the site.

There is an ongoing migration period from the previous system to the new platform, and from 4 April 2022, all customers will be automatically redirected to the new PPE portal from the previous site. The new platform will be managed by NHS Supply Chain.

During the soft launch of the new portal, the department carried out a survey and received 446 responses. A total of 96% of respondents stated they were either “very satisfied” (76%) or “satisfied” (20%) with the new website. Also, 97% stated they were either “very confident” (85%) or “confident” (12%) when using the new platform.

The PPE portal will serve a range of health, care and public sector providers including GPs, adult social care, dentists, orthodontists, community pharmacies, optometrists, children’s social care providers, drug and alcohol services, other government departments, local authorities, independent sector providers who carry out NHS work, and more. This will cover millions of staff, patients, clients and service users, in England.

Last month, it was announced that following a public consultation, NHS trusts, primary care and adult social care providers will continue to receive COVID-19 PPE free of charge until 31 March 2023 or until infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance is withdrawn or significantly amended. This is to ensure staff and their patients are protected as we learn to live with COVID-19.

The new platform cements the department’s commitment to continuous improvement of this critical service, including considerations around product offerings and who is eligible to use it.

Some of the key benefits of the new platform are a more user-friendly site that makes it easier to place orders, view order limits and track deliveries, and, where needed, the capability for responding to and mitigating against evolving situations and potential future health crises.

Eligible users have been emailed about their transfer to the new platform and communication will continue over the coming weeks.

Those who have any questions regarding the migration can contact the customer services team on 0800 876 6802, which is available 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Users can also raise queries directly through the new platform.

 

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