PPE supply to be stepped down in Nottinghamshire

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Nottinghamshire County Council plans to step down its in-house personal protective equipment operations this year as the Government’s Living With Covid strategy moves forward.

The authority’s PPE teams have provided equipment to social care, health, education and other council-led settings since the start of the pandemic.

Documents show since March 2020 the council’s teams have dealt with more than 7,000 requests and distributed more than 2.5 million items across the county.

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The equipment has been sourced from the Government’s PPE portal since July 2021, with the authority sourcing its own equipment prior to signing up to the national scheme.

Personal protective equipment includes masks, aprons and gloves.Personal protective equipment includes masks, aprons and gloves.
Personal protective equipment includes masks, aprons and gloves.

The launch of the national portal meant the authority no longer distributed PPE to partners like NHS Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Mansfield and Ashfield councils.

And now the council has outlined plans for a three-month step-down of its operations as more Covid restrictions are lifted.

It follows the publication of the Government’s post-pandemic strategy and new guidance around PPE coming into effect.

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It states all PPE users currently sourcing equipment directly from the council will be able to access it directly from the national portal, meaning the authority’s service will no longer be needed.

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The authority will begin its three-month step-down in April, which will support organisations in moving to the national PPE portal.

It will also oversee the distribution and managing of excess stock in the council’s warehouse, as well as decommissioning the warehouse once the three-month window is over.

The council has allocated £30,800 towards staffing costs for the three-month project.

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A further £26,800 has been outlined for costs relating to the warehouse facility and both the storage and distribution of PPE items.

Both funds are recommended for approval by the council’s finance committee.

A report published ahead of the meeting states: “Following the publication of the Living with Covid strategy, we are now in the position to step down the council’s centralised PPE operation without any disruption in supply for our service users.

“[They] will all be able to continue receiving free PPE directly through the national PPE portal until March 2023.

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“We recommend a three-month transition period to ensure effective decommissioning and transition can take place.”

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