Practices will only be reimbursed for PPE recommended by Public Health England

GP practices who have paid for PPE out of their own funds will only be reimbursed for any kit that is recommended for use by Public Health England.

(Photo: Sebastian Condrea/Getty Images)
(Photo: Sebastian Condrea/Getty Images)

Final details of the funding that practices will receive for additional costs they have incurred during the pandemic is currently waiting for approval from the Treasury.

During a webinar last Thursday (7 May), NHS England director of primary care contracts Ed Waller said that he expected that practices would ‘be reimbursed for additional consumables or business expenses, 'for example around PPE, or changing business models to do home visits'.

However he said that NHS England would not reimburse practices for 'non-regulation PPE'. He said the whole funding scheme would be set up 'on the basis of the guidance that's been given to the system'.

'So in the case of PPE, the expectation is that we reimburse PPE expenses in line with what PHE is recommended,' he explained.

PPE shortages

GPs have experienced ongoing problems with securing PPE. Results from the BMA’s latest tracker survey published last week found that more than two thirds of GPs have had to rely on PPE that they have bought themselves or had donated during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Around one in six GPs (16%) said that they 'rarely' or 'never' had sufficient PPE for safe contact with patients - and only 31% said that they always had the right equipment available.

PHE currently recommends the use of gloves, fluid-repellant face masks, aprons and eye protection for staff working in primary care.

However many practices have provided staff with additional equipment such as face shields and scrubs, particularly for those working in so-called 'hot sites'.

Some practices are also looking to install screens at reception desks as more patients start returning to surgeries as a way of providing additional protection for staff. It is unclear if NHS England would fund such modifications.

Practice reimbursement

During Thursday’s webinar Mr Waller stressed the final details of reimbursement for practices had yet to be approved by the government. However he set out the principles of the planned scheme to provide additional funding for practices.

He said he expected practices would be able to claim funding for any additional staff needed to deal with an increase in workload due to the coronavirus pandemic, and to cover staff absence as a result of COVID-19, as well as for items like PPE.

Support is expected to be available for costs incurred during March, April, May and June, after which the scheme will be reviewed.

Mr Waller said that the intention was to 'ensure that practices don't lose significant income as a result of the outbreak.’

Read more
>
Practices to receive funding for additional staff costs due to COVID-19

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs should carry out 45% of consultations remotely after pandemic, says Hancock

GPs should carry out 45% of consultations remotely after pandemic, says Hancock

Nearly half of GP consultations should continue to be delivered remotely after the...

Lockdown exit risks magnifying ‘incredible pressure’ on doctors, BMA warns

Lockdown exit risks magnifying ‘incredible pressure’ on doctors, BMA warns

The government’s plan to exit the national lockdown is ‘full of risks’ and could...

New GMC guidance on consent explained

New GMC guidance on consent explained

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Kathryn Leask uses a series of case examples to explain...

Which COVID-19 vaccines are lined up for roll-out on the NHS?

Which COVID-19 vaccines are lined up for roll-out on the NHS?

As GPs and their teams prepare for delivering a COVID-19 vaccination programme that...

BAME doctors face COVID 'double hit' as pandemic drives rise in complaints

BAME doctors face COVID 'double hit' as pandemic drives rise in complaints

Black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) doctors face a 'double hit' from COVID-19...

Practices can use £150m COVID fund to hire locum GPs, BMA confirms

Practices can use £150m COVID fund to hire locum GPs, BMA confirms

GP practices in England can use their share of a £150m COVID capacity fund to hire...