The government has issued guidance to social care providers in England on using the new PPE portal.
Last month, small home care providers with 99 clients or less and care home operators with fewer than 24 beds were invited to register to use the portal, operated by Clipper Logistics, eBay and Royal Mail.
And now the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published details on how and when the portal should be used.
The guidance states that social care providers can only use the portal if they have received an email invitation to register, and that they should use it as an emergency top-up system, not as a routine source of PPE.
Providers can order one combined pack, containing 100 IIR masks, 400 aprons and 800 gloves (400 pairs), per week or up to this amount of separate items.
However, one provider that carries out 1,500 care visits per week told HCI that they were supplied with only 50 masks, 100 pairs of gloves and 200 aprons, and that its usual supplier was out of stock.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback on using the portal.
PPE ordered from the portal is free of charge and will be delivered by the Royal Mail within 48 hours of orders being placed before 1pm and 72 hours for orders placed after 1pm.
The DHSC advises that if providers cannot get the PPE they need through wholesaler routes or the PPE portal, they should contact their local resilience forums.
Find your local resilience forum here.