Warwickshire LPC

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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PPE Guidance

NHS Guidance

PSNC Guidance

RPS Guidance

Visual Guides

Visual Guide to PPE

Supply Chain

Local PPE Process Cov & Warks

PPE Dedicated Supply Channel

New PPE Website

PPE Product Listing

Ordering through NSDR

Further Resources

HDA Statement (29th April)

Local Resilience Forum Directory


Public Health England’s (PHE) updated guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), published on 2nd April 2020, recommends the use of fluid-resistant surgical masks (FRSM) in pharmacies when working in an area with possible or confirmed cases and where pharmacy teams are unable to maintain 2 metres social distance from patients.

There is unprecedented, global demand for personal protective equipment as a result of this pandemic. The UK has released its pandemic influenza stockpiles, which included many types of PPE required for tackling COVID-19, and new logistics networks – including support from the army – have been established to manage supply and demand across the UK, and to make sure appropriate PPE reaches those who need it.  Source

When ordering PPE, please keep to the following order of priorities:

  1. Wholesalers
  2. Local/regional supply channels (LRF) – only if you have less than 3 days supplies left
  3. National Supply Disruption Response service (NSDR) – only if none of the above is available

See below for more details…


Frequently Asked Questions and Additional Support


  • What’s the current guidance on PPE for pharmacy staff?
  • Do I need to install protective screens for my pharmacy?
  • How can I obtain PPE for my pharmacy?
  • When and how can I contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline?
  • Can I sell PPE to the general public?
  • Do people have to wear face-covering when visiting the pharmacy?
  • Useful Links
What’s the current guidance on PPE for pharmacy staff?

Updated guidance on PPE was published by Public Health England (PHE) on 12 April 2020. If social distancing of 2 metres from patients attending the pharmacy can be maintained there is no indication for PPE in a pharmacy setting. If this distance cannot be maintained, use of fluid resistant surgical masks (FRSM) is recommended.

We recognise that some pharmacy staff cannot stay more than 2 metres away from symptomatic people and will need masks. It would be extremely helpful, both to protect longer term supplies to pharmacies and to keep supplies going to other health professionals, if pharmacies limit the number of staff that have to be within 2 metres of the public to help manage the use of masks and maintain availability.

PSNC Update:

June 15: PSNC advice on use of facemasks and face coverings in community pharmacies

Do I need to install protective screens for my pharmacy?

Social distancing, alongside installation of bollards/tapes, physical barriers or screens is considered to be the most effective way of protecting pharmacy staff. PSNC recommends that contractors do install screens on medicines counters, wherever this is possible.

To support the installation of such barriers, NHSE&I is making a £300 payment to all pharmacies, except distance-selling pharmacies. The payment will be made automatically to all contractors (bar distance selling pharmacies and those that have agreed with NHSE&I to close for longer than 2 weeks) and it is expected to be paid by the NHSBSA in the payment which will be made on 1st May 2020.

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Update: The majority of contractors will have received this payment on 1st May 2020. This payment was not itemised on the FP34 Schedule of Payments and was processed as a separate transaction to that outlined in the Schedule. The NHSBSA sent individual letters to contractors informing them of this payment. Any contractors that had temporarily closed their pharmacy for more than two weeks since 31st March 2020 but
made adjustments for social distancing prior to or shortly after the closure, will need to claim the £300 payment by 5th August 2020 using the appropriate NHSBSA claim form. The claim form must be signed by the contractor.

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PSNC had been pressing NHSE&I to recognise the costs of installing protective barriers for pharmacy staff in the additional funding we are seeking for contractors to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Some contractors are reporting high prices for protective screens, but many have been able to source these at reasonable prices and sometimes on a cost-only basis from suppliers looking to support the NHS through the pandemic.

How can I obtain PPE for my pharmacy?

There are a range of options available – these are listed below in order of priority:

1) Wholesalers with mask codes

Alliance (8019622) – 0330 100 0448 Customerservice@alliance-healthcare.co.uk
AAH Pharma (NSU2A) – 0344 561 8899 Register at aah.co.uk
Phoenix (676546)

2) Regional/Local distribution channels (LRF)

Email: • CV19PPE@warwickshire.gov.uk

The Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) have received a push of PPE supplies to respond to local spikes in need, where there are current blockages in the supply chain. The PPE stock provided to LRFs is to support urgent need in vital services which are not linked to the NHS Supply Chain. This PPE is intended to support service providers which have exhausted their usual routes for PPE and there remains an urgent need for additional stock.

3)  NSDR: Any organisation running critically short of PPE, and has exhausted other supply routes, can phone the National Supply Distribution Response (NSDR) on 0800 915 9964 for an urgent delivery.

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Note: A new online ordering site is being developed and will enable primary care, community care and social care providers to register their PPE requirements more easily. The site will be rolled out so that these providers can request critical PPE from a central inventory. Further details will be released on how to register directly to providers as part of a phased approach. Orders will be managed in line with the published guidance from Public Health England and shipped directly via Royal Mail.

When and how can I contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline?

Providers who need emergency supplies of PPE can continue to contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline on 0800 915 9964.

Before calling the NSDR 24/7 hotline, please ensure you have:

  • Followed your usual BAU procedures which may include wholesale provision (listed)
  • Contacted your local trusts or health organisations  (for mutual aid)
  • Contacted your Local Resilience Forums (LRF).

N.B. Only if the LRF is unable to meet your urgent PPE needs, should you contact the NSDR 24/7 hotline.

When contacting the NSDR 24/7 hotline,  please have the following details to hand:

  • Name, email and telephone number of the requestor;
  • Name, email and telephone number of a contact for the next 24 hours (e.g. out of hours cover if the original requestor will be unavailable);
  • Delivery address, including postcode and named contact for receiving deliveries;
  • Confirmation that your organisation is able to receive the delivery outside of normal business hours;
  • Number of COVID-19 patients being treated (confirmed and suspected);
  • Number of beds in your organisation (if appropriate);
  • How long your current PPE stock provides cover for (e.g. <24 hours; 1-2 days, or more than 2 days);and
  • Which products you are requesting and in what quantity

https://www.ppe-dedicated-supply-channel.co.uk/community-healthcare-partners/

Can I sell PPE to the general public?

PPE obtained through the national distribution channels is not to be sold to the general public.

Do people have to wear face-covering when visiting the pharmacy?

At the moment this is not compulsory, but RPS has been campaigning to extend face-covering measures to all healthcare settings, including community pharmacies.

https://www.rpharms.com/about-us/news/details/rps-calls-for-face-covering-measures-to-be-extended-across-all-healthcare-settings

A couple of posters are available for pharmacy use requesting visitors to wear a face covering. These can be downloaded from RPS HERE and from PSNC HERE



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