PPE portal: now live for Community Pharmacy


PPE portal: now live for Community Pharmacy

August 3, 2020

Today (3rd August 2020) the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that community pharmacies can now order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the online portal in an emergency.

The PPE portal had previously only been open to social care and general practice providers to order and receive critical coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE supplies. Community pharmacies are now being added to the system and contractors will receive an email invitation to their shared NHSmail inbox to register. The emails will be sent in a phased approach to manage the smooth registration of pharmacies by the portal’s logistics team.

DHSC has partnered with eBay, Clipper Logistics and Royal Mail to develop this service. Orders will be managed in line with Public Health England (PHE) guidance and wider availability from the NHS Supply Chain’s central PPE logistic operations.

Who can use the portal?
Only pharmacies that have received their invitation will be able to log in and place an order. Invitations will be sent to the pharmacy shared NHSmail inbox that is registered with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

When can I use the portal?
The PPE portal is an emergency top-up system. Contractors are currently advised to continue using their business-as-usual and wholesaler routes to access PPE. Contractors should therefore only use the PPE portal for additional PPE if needed.

Are there order limits?
Yes. Contractors will be able to place multiple orders weekly, up to the limits below.

All pharmacies can order up to 50 IIR masks, 100 aprons and 200 gloves (100 pairs) per week.

How quickly will it be delivered and at what cost?
PPE ordered from the portal is free of charge. Orders will be delivered by Royal Mail within:

  • 48 hours for orders placed before 1pm; and
  • 72 hours for orders placed after 1pm.

Previous guidance was to contact local resilience forums if we could not get PPE from our wholesalers, does this replace that guidance?
No. Currently, if you cannot get the PPE you need through wholesaler routes, or the PPE portal, then you can still contact your local resilience forums (LRFs). In time the portal will become the main contact for any emergency PPE needs and will replace the need to use LRFs.

Until contractors are invited to use the portal, they should continue using their LRFs if they cannot get the PPE they need through wholesaler routes.

If I have any issues with the portal, who do I contact?
Contractors should call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if they have any questions about using the PPE portal. The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week, to help resolve queries.

Read announcement here


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