DHSC Consultation on whether to extend the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health and care sector after 31 March 2022
30 September 2021
As recently reported, the DHSC is now seeking views on whether it should extend the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health and care sector after 31 March 2022.
The DHSC is currently due to end its free, central PPE provision from 1 April 2022. At this point, health and care providers would then need to purchase PPE from a supplier of their choice. However, the department states that, given current case levels and guidance, it expects PPE usage to remain at COVID-19 levels beyond March 2022, thus putting significant upward pressure on health and care costs in the next financial year. The DHSC reports that it holds sufficient stock centrally to continue to support providers to meet their COVID-19 PPE needs. The department is therefore considering whether to extend central, free provision.
The consultation ask whether free provision should continue from 1 April 2022. Making its views fairly clear, the consultation states that the DHSC, proposes extending provision for 12 months, “As we do not expect the key drivers of extending to have changed until at least the end of the 2022 to 2023 financial year, we will likely need to consider another extension further down the line if we extend for a shorter period of time. However, extending now for 12 months provides certainty over the whole financial year”.
The BDIA will be working on a response to the consultation and would request that affected members contact us with their views/preferred options relating to the 4 consultation questions by Friday 22 October – please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also encourage affected members to submit their own responses directly, particularly where company-specific issues are being raised.