PPE supply to be stepped down across Hucknall and Nottinghamshire as part of 'living with Covid' plan

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Nottinghamshire County Council plans to step down its in-house PPE 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 last year, with the authority sourcing its own equipment prior to signing up to the national scheme.

Nottinghamshire County Council will start stepping down its supply of PPE from next monthNottinghamshire County Council will start stepping down its supply of PPE from next month
Nottinghamshire County Council will start stepping down its supply of PPE from next month

The launch of the national portal meant the authority no longer distributed PPE to partners like Nottingham City Council, the NHS clinical commissioning group and district and borough 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 earlier this year and new guidance around PPE coming into effect from April.

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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.

It comes at the same time both supply and demand for the equipment stabilises, council documents say.

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The authority will begin its three-month step-down in April, running until the end of June, 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.

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

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 on Monday, March 21.

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.

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

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

The report adds the council will no longer be providing free universal lateral flow testing, stating: “The Government has confirmed that it will no longer provide free universal community testing and therefore the requirement for us to continue to support this activity will cease.”