Care England has today welcomed the extension of the provision of free PPE to the health and care sector to March 31, 2023.
The Department of Health and Social Care previously committed to providing free PPE to the sector until March 31, 2022 and launched a consultation in October 2021 on whether to extend this offer for a further year. The government’s response to the consultation was published today.
Care England’s evidence to the consultation highlighted that free PPE via a centralised mechanism had been an “enormous win” for government and the potential return to a situation similar to March 2020, when there were huge challenges in accessing PPE, would be a retrograde step in the management of the ongoing pandemic.
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, said: “We are pleased that the government has listened to Care England in extending the offer of free PPE. The sector is currently contending with a multitude of issues against a backdrop of outbreaks and rising infection levels, so this represents a welcome relief and will provide a real boost for the sector as we learn to live with COVID. Most importantly, the continuation of free PPE will continue to help better protect some of society’s most vulnerable.”
“This is a positive step forward in the government’s response to aiding the sector, but this must be accompanied by further measures, including a comprehensive solution to the ongoing workforce pressures being felt by the sector. The adult social care workforce is our biggest resource and must be recognised and valued as such.”