NHS dental practices to get free PPE under new government plan

Dental practices will have access to free PPE as part of the UK government's new second wave strategyDental practices will have access to free PPE as part of the UK government’s new second wave strategy. 

In its newly-released PPE plan, the government has set out how it will help to slow the transmission of COVID-19 as winter approaches.

In order to respond rapidly to demand surges in the future, the Department of Health and Social Care will build a stockpile. This will reflect around four months’ stock of each product group, and plans state it should be stocked by November 2020.

And as part of the strategy, NHS dental practices will have access to free PPE to help achieve the aim of meeting the needs of all NHS contractors.

Expanded range

Practices must apply through the PPE portal, which will have an expanded product range. For example, it will now include:

  • Aprons
  • Gloves
  • Type IIR masks
  • Hand hygiene
  • Visors
  • Additional items, such as respirator masks, will be available by October.

Weekly order limits are based on the size of the provider, which will increase in line with any surge in demand.

The demand model will adjust to reflect new information, increased activity, any policy changes and requirements for medical-grade PPE.

Flu season preparations

Additionally, the new plan is based on the experiences of the health and social care sectors across the pandemic so far. For example, the model is adapted to:

  • Determine COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 demand. This includes considering the rising demand as more NHS services reopen
  • Improve the balance of PPE used in GP practices
  • Improve assumptions on the social care sector’s PPE use
  • Include assumptions on other sectors’ use of medical-grade PPE
  • Consider the impact of seasonal flu, including the PPE required to run an expanded and extended flu jab programme.

With this in mind, the government has committed to carrying out PPE usage surveys for different sectors, including dental practices.

‘As in-person, non-urgent primary care services have restarted, the model has been updated to reflect this increased usage and operational changes that have been made to keep patients and staff safe,’ it states.

The full strategy can be read here.

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