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Government PPE portal open to pharmacies for first time

A Government PPE ordering facility is now accepting orders from community pharmacy teams for the first time - but only in case of emergency.

This means pharmacies can now order up to 50 IIR masks, 100 aprons and 200 gloves (100 pairs) per week through the Department of Health and Social Care’s PPE portal. The PPE will be supplied free of charge and will be delivered within 48 or 72 hours depending on whether an order is placed before or after 1pm.  

According to PSNC this is an “emergency top-up system” and contractors should still place orders via wholesalers as normal. “Contractors should therefore only use the PPE portal for additional PPE if needed,” PSNC said.

Previously, the portal was only available to social care and general practice providers, but community pharmacies are now being added to the system. Contractors will receive an email invitation to register for the portal.

The service is the result of a collaboration between the DHSC and eBay, Clipper Logistics and Royal Mail.

At present, this service does not replace the existing guidance to contact local resilience forums (LRFs) where PPE cannot be obtained from a wholesaler, although PSNC said that “in time, the portal will become the main contact for any emergency PPE needs”.

Contractors should continue using their LRFs until they receive an invite to use the portal.

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