Free PPE provision extended to March 2023
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has extended the provision of free PPE to adult social care providers until 31 March 2023.
DHSC previously committed to providing free PPE to the sector until 31 March 2022 and launched a consultation in October 2021 on whether to extend this offer for a further year.
“In response to the consultation, and in order to help protect health and care staff while Covid-19 case levels are still high and high PPE usage is still required by infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance, the government has decided to extend the provision of free PPE to the health and care sector to 31 March 2023 or until such time as the UK IPC guidance is withdrawn or significantly amended, whichever is sooner,” it said in a statement.
Care England, the leading representative body for independent providers of adult social care, welcomed the measure.
Care England’s response to the consultation highlighted that free PPE via a centralised mechanism had been an “enormous win” for government and the potential return to a situation similar to March 2020, when there were huge challenges in accessing PPE, would be a retrograde step in the management of the ongoing pandemic.
“The sector is currently contending with a multitude of issues against a backdrop of outbreaks and rising infection levels, so this represents a welcome relief and will provide a real boost for the sector as we learn to live with covid,” said chief executive Martin Green.
“Most importantly, the continuation of free PPE will continue to help better protect some of society’s most vulnerable…but this must be accompanied by further measures, including a comprehensive solution to the ongoing workforce pressures being felt by the sector,” he added.