PPE refund worth up to £20,000 available per average GP practice

GPs in England have until 5 February to claim up to around £20,000 per average practice for personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England has said.

PPE costs (Photo: Bloomberg Creative/Getty Images)
PPE costs (Photo: Bloomberg Creative/Getty Images)

Practices have been promised refunds for PPE purchased during the pandemic when national supplies fell short - but announcements on COVID-19 support funding in summer and autumn this year failed to offer PPE reimbursement.

Officials have now made clear that a claims process will begin 'as soon as practically possible', with practices given until 5 February to claim for items they bought between 27 February and 31 December 2020.

GP practices will be able to claim for type I/IIR masks, aprons, gloves, eyewear (visors and goggles), hand sanitiser and clinical waste bags.

PPE costs

The maximum amount that can be claimed is linked to practice list size - with the smallest practices with list sizes up to 3,281 patients able to claim up to £5,196 for items purchased between 27 February and 31 October, plus £1,778 for the following two months if they were not signed up to the government PPE portal over this period.

An average practice with just over 9,000 patients would be able to claim £14,386 for the initial period and up to £4,924 for the final two months of the year - with the available amounts rising to £134,382 and £45,997 for the largest practices with more than 80,000 patients.

Practices submitting claims through their CCG will be expected to provide 'associated evidence and invoices' to back up their claims.

In exceptional circumstances, commissioner may consider reimbursement outside the fixed thresholds available by practice list size.

COVID-19 support

In August, NHS England set out details of a COVID-19 support fund offering reimbursement for additional staff costs, as well as costs related to supporting care homes or bank holiday opening.

In October, officials promised to release details 'shortly' explaining how practices could claim PPE reimbursement.

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul hit out at the goverment over PPE earlier this month, telling MPs that doctors had been misled over supplies, and that the government had wasted money on useless items.

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