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Free PPE scheme for pharmacy teams extended until end of June

By Isabel Shaw

13 Jan 2021

Pharmacy teams in England will be able to order free personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Government’s portal until the end of June, NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has confirmed.

The free PPE scheme was initially due to end in March 2021 but has been extended by three months following a sharp rise in Covid cases and a third national lockdown.

The Government will review the scheme again in April to determine how PPE will be distributed to healthcare professionals after June.

Contractors currently have until 12 February to claim reimbursement for PPE they purchased for their teams between 27 February and 31 December 2020.

According to PSNC guidance, pharmacies will be able to claim between £830 and £4,060 for PPE costs, depending on their average monthly prescription volume over the period of the claim.

‘This is the most frequent band that pharmacies have found themselves in over the eight months from March – October 2020, with the higher band taken if there is more than one most frequent band,’ it said.

Contractors can make claims via NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS), which was due to go live this morning (13 January).

Contractors should however be aware that any PPE purchased directly by them from 1 January 2021 onwards will not be reimbursable via the mechanism, PSNC added.

‘Contractors can continue to order free of charge PPE for use in their pharmacy via the DHSC’s PPE portal, and should ensure they have registered for this,’ it said.

The free provisions of PPE – which were initially made available only to general practice and small care homes in May – were expanded to include community pharmacy in August.

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