Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health & Social Services
I am pleased to confirm arrangements have been made to extend the provision of free personal protection equipment (PPE) to health and social care organisations until the end of March 2023.
Following the initial response to the pandemic, a formal arrangement was made in September 2020 to provide free PPE to health and social care organisations through a service level agreement (SLA) between the NHS Wales Shared Service Partnership (NWSSP) and the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA).
The SLA was subsequently renewed, on the same terms and conditions for a contracted date of 1 September 2021 to 31 March 2022. The SLA is being renewed once more, with the same terms and conditions, for the contracted date of 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Providing free PPE for health and social care as long as is needed to deal with the pandemic is a Programme for Government commitment. The continuation of the SLA will provide reassurance to the health and social care sectors that we will continue to support them with free PPE over the next year.
The public and health and social care colleagues can be confident our PPE stock position continues to be stable. Throughout the winter NWSSP have been asked to maintain a contingency stockpile of PPE of no less than 16 weeks’ supply, which is based on the issue rate at the height of the pandemic.
We continue to work closely with Public Health Wales to monitor and review the infection, prevention and control guidance and ensure the appropriate use of PPE in health and social care settings. The latest guidance is available at: Public Health Wales' guidance for health and social care professionals | GOV.WALES