GPs can request emergency deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fill ‘gaps’ in distribution, NHS England has said.
In its latest letter to GPs and commissioners on 27 March, NHS England said its National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) will issue ‘pre-packed kits’ within 72 hours to tackle ‘immediate short-term issues’.
The packs will include a minimum of 100 Type IIR facemasks, 100 aprons and 100 pairs of gloves.
GPs can raise requests for the kits through the NSDR 24/7 telephone helpline: 0800 915 9964.
The letter added that PPE distribution is one of the issues it is ‘hearing most’ from GPs amid the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).
It said: ‘We are focused on providing swift responses, for example, to meet gaps until scheduled deliveries arrive and until orders with wholesalers through BAU are back up and running.’
Practices who request kits through NSDR must be able to receive the emergency deliveries ‘outside business hours’, it added.
Last week, NHS England claimed that every GP practice in the country has now received a delivery of PPE but GPs in one area said their CCG had told them they had to source their own protective equipment.
It comes as a rapid review set up to provide answers for staff working in primary care has concluded that a standard surgical mask provides similar levels of protection against respiratory viruses to a respirator mask - but only when used with other PPE.