Free PPE for dental practices extended to end of June
Free PPE will be available for dental practices until the end of June this year, it has been revealed.
Health and social care providers who qualify can continue to order PPE through the portal to meet growing COVID-19 demand.
Dentists should calculate the number of units of dental activity (UDAs) plus the units of orthodontic activity multiplied by 1.5. This will provide a composite metric.
For example, dental practices that carry out less than 3,000 of the composite metric each week can order up to:
- 200 IIR masks
- 200 FFP masks
- 300 aprons
- 1,000 gloves (500 pairs)
- 200 visors
- 300 gowns
- Four bottles of hand hygiene.
Additionally, the window for NHS dental practices in England to claim back reimbursement funds for PPE opened this week.
This will be open until 20 February 2021. Guidance states that no further claims will be processed after this date has passed.
All claims must be for any PPE related to COVID-19 and used to provide NHS dentistry between 27 February and 31 December 2020.
Insufficient risk management
At the end of last year, it was revealed that PPE suggestions from MPs and government officials were ‘fast tracked’ for contracts.
In total, around £18 billion was spent on contracts responding to the pandemic, with emergency procurement regulations used to buy goods, services and works.
According to a new review by the National Audit Office (NAO), a ‘high priority’ lane was set up during the process of assessing potential PPE contracts.
It emerged that around 10% of the nearly 500 suppliers put in this lane were granted contracts. In comparison, around 1% of those who passed through the normal lane were handed contracts.
The watchdog said there were cases with ‘insufficient documentation’ on why decisions were made or how risks were identified or managed.
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