DHSC extends free Covid PPE scheme for the health and care sector until March 2024


  Posted by: Dental Design      11th January 2023

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has extended its scheme that provides free PPE to the health and care sector for protection against Covid, by up to one year to March 2024 or until stocks are depleted. The scheme was set up to offer protection for frontline staff against Covid as part of the government’s ‘Living with Covid’ strategy.

The scheme was introduced in 2020 as the wholesale market struggled to respond to the increase in demand for PPE caused by the pandemic. It sought to ensure that essential healthcare services could continue to operate. The DHSC invested in a significant amount of Covid-19 PPE stock to supply to frontline healthcare workers, including dental teams, until March 2021.

It was originally extended until the end of June 2021 due to Covid-19 infection rates remaining high through April, May and June 2021, with demand for PPE also remaining high in response as well as due to new demands coming online such as mass testing and the vaccine rollout.

The initiative was reviewed again in both April and December 2021, which resulted in two further extensions. These extensions to the scheme were down to pressures on the health and social care sector with the risk of new variants emerging and the potential for new waves, in particular with uncertainty surrounding the emergence of the Omicron variant.

The scheme was set to end in March 2023. However, the most recent extension to March 2024 has been made to not only support the government’s Covid-19 Response: Living with Covid-19 strategy, but also the mounting cost of living pressures.

More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/free-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-scheme.

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