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Covid-19 - PPE and Infection Control

PPE & Infection Control Resources

Public Health England (PHE) have a guidance page covering PPE and infection control.

There is also a PPE hub set up on the government website to cover guidance on PPE and Infection Control across all healthcare settings. 

To aid ease of reference, PHE also have a webpage for COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance: key messages and explanation of updates


October 2021 the UKHSA  published a review into IPC guidance. They have given recommendations for changes to COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) advice to help ease pressure on the NHS.  Recommendation 4 is for a more flexible approach to patient consultations in primary care and general practice and says that

Patients will continue to be required to wear a face covering if attending a face-to-face consultation unless exempt. The importance of hand and respiratory hygiene should be emphasised, along with other control measures to minimise the risk of transmission of infection. Patients with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or influenza should telephone their GP or primary care provider before attending an appointment.

Physical distancing can be reduced from 2 metres to 1 metre in primary care and general practice with appropriate mitigations, such as the continued use of face coverings or masks. 


Face mask recommendations for primary care settings in England now state that: -

where a setting cannot be delivered as COVID-19 secure through all other means, a local assessment may conclude that primary and community healthcare staff (both in clinical and non-clinical roles), when not otherwise required to use personal protective equipment, should wear a face mask; worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer*

where a COVID-19 secure environment cannot be maintained, patients and members of the public entering primary and community healthcare premises should be advised to use face coverings in line with government advice

*The recommendation is for a Type l or Type ll face mask worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer. If Type IIR face masks are more readily available, and there are no supply issues for their use as personal protective equipment, then these can be used as an alternative to Type I or Type II masks.

One of the most important things about PPE is how we put this on and take it off - if done incorrectly you might as well not wear it.

Click here for a helpful video produced by a Leeds GP.

PHE have also produced a video for PPE

PHE have a page for Infection Prevention Control that includes details on PPE 

The Infection Prevention Society (IPS) also have a wealth of Covid-19 resources that include awareness training, patient leafletsg and guidance in particular settings.

PPE Covid-19 Guidance for Home visits

Please click this image to access our document.

PHE have also updated their PPE detail for non aerosol gas procedures and have produced posters to demonstrate the donning and doffing. Please click on the images below to download and print as required. 







The RCGP also have a webpage dedicated to PPE.

The Supply Chain & PPE Portal

This remains one of the highest priorities in terms of ensuring practices have an adequate supply and also the ongoing question about the level of PPE you require in general practice.

NHSE have now set up a webpage to deal with the supply of PPE with information for primary care as follows:-

Additional supplies of PPE equipment continue to be made available to wholesalers that routinely supply to GPs, dentists, pharmacies, social care and hospices

Regional NHS leadership teams are working with individual trusts to support mutual aid and redistribution of supplies to meet greatest clinical need

Local Resilience Forums  (LRFs) have received a push of PPE supplies to respond to local spikes in need, including those in social care and primary care, where there are current blockages in the supply chain. The PPE stock provided to LRFs is to support urgent need in vital services which are not linked to the NHS Supply Chain. This PPE is intended to support service providers which have exhausted their usual routes for PPE and there remains an urgent need for additional stock.

PPE Portal for accessing covid-19 supplies

On 26th Sept 2020 the government updated their PPE Portal initiative to enable GPs and other healthcare providres to order all covid-19 supplies via the PPE Portal ​​​. The PPE portal should not be used for non-covid related requirements. The Government has announced that it is extending the provision of free COVID-19 PPE for all health, social care and public sector workers until March 2022.

The Dept of Health and Social Care say they will keep order limits under review to make sure these reflect the latest public health guidance, COVID-19 demand modelling and analysis.

The order limits are currently as follows: -

GPs with fewer than 5,000 patients can order up to (per week):

GPs with between 5,000 and 7,999 patients can order up to (per week):

GPs with between 8,000 and 10,999 patients can order up to (per week):

GPs with between 11,000 and 29,999 patients can order up to (per week):

GPs with 30,000 patients or more can order up to (per week):

Delivery times and cost

PPE ordered from the portal is free of charge.

Orders will be delivered by Royal Mail within 5 days 

Some orders will require more than one box and may be received as multiple deliveries.

PPE standards

All PPE offered on the portal meets UK government quality standards.

You can find more information on PPE standards at Public Health England’s COVID-19 PPE hub and NHS guidance on supply and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies.

When to use local resilience forums

You can now get all the COVID-19 PPE you need from the PPE portal.

However, PPE from local resilience forums (LRFs) can be made available on the basis of clinical need, for example a demonstrable spike in local COVID-19 cases or temporary difficulties in accessing other distribution channels.

All other adult social care services not supplied by the PPE portal will be able to access PPE through their LRFs or local authorities, depending on local arrangements.

Other providers who are not invited to use the portal should continue using their LRFs if they cannot get the PPE they need through wholesaler routes.

For business-as-usual and non-clinical grade PPE needs all providers should continue accessing their normal supply routes.

When to use the National Supply Disruption Response

If you cannot get PPE through any other route and have run out or will do so imminently, contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) on 0800 915 9964.

Contact us

Call the customer service team on 0800 876 6802 if you have any questions about using the PPE portal.

The team is available from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week, to help resolve your queries.


The BMA has launched a 24/7 emergency support helpline for doctors who find their PPE is inadequate and need urgent advice. Call the PPE hotline on 0300 123 1233.

The Government also announced on 9th Feb 2021 that is also offering free PPE to unpaid Carers.

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Updated on Wednesday, 3 November 2021 3043 views