PPE availability: HDA statement and guidance for contractors


PPE availability: HDA statement and guidance for contractors

April 29, 2020

The Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) has, this afternoon, issued a statement to inform pharmacy contractors that the stocks of surgical masks the Association’s member wholesalers have been able to purchase from the Government’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stockpile have now almost completely run out*.  HDA member companies are awaiting a new sale event to be announced by Public Health England, at which time they will be able to obtain further supplies of surgical masks for supply to contractors.

This week, PSNC has been seeking information on the availability of PPE, particularly surgical masks, from the mainline pharmaceutical wholesalers, following reports from contractors that supplies were becoming very difficult to obtain. The HDA statement confirms the extremely low stock levels held by the wholesalers and underlines the need for the Government to arrange for more stock to be made available from the national stockpile.

We are continuing to push DHSC and NHSE&I to address the ongoing shortage of PPE within the community pharmacy sector, both by making more stock available to the wholesalers in the short term and accelerating the introduction of the new e-commerce ordering site for primary, community and social care providers.

Commenting on the PPE supply issues, Simon Dukes, PSNC CEO said:

“This news on the unavailability of PPE for pharmacy teams to order via the usual channels shows just how critical the national PPE situation is becoming: it is putting the safety of community pharmacy staff at risk, which is quite simply unacceptable. I will continue to highlight to Ministers the critical role that pharmacy has in the response to this national crisis and the absolute imperative that our staff are protected.”

Other PPE supply options

If contractors are close to running out of PPE, in line with DHSC and NHSE&I guidance, they can contact their Local Resilience Forum, who have been supplied with stock to distribute to organisations that have a high priority need for PPE, including community pharmacies.

LPCs may be able to provide their contractors with guidance on how to contact the Local Resilience Forum (LRF), to obtain an emergency supply of PPE or alternatively LRF contact details can be obtained from:

Local Resilience Forum contact details

Visit the COVID-19 PPE page for further information

* This PPE is only for use by pharmacy team members; it is not for resale by pharmacies. Individual HDA wholesalers may be able to obtain some supplies of appropriately certified masks from sources other than the Government stockpile.

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