New PPE distribution process
The Australian Department of Health is changing the way it distributes personal protective equipment (PPE) from the National Medical Stockpile to primary care providers – general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS), general practice respiratory clinics (GPRCs), community pharmacies and allied health professionals.
Primary Health Networks will continue to be responsible for accepting PPE orders, but will be transitioning to a new system in which PPE will be delivered by a national distributor, DHL. This will streamline PPE distribution and allow primary care providers to track PPE deliveries through DHL.
There are new surveys with strict guidelines for requesting PPE. Organisations are not able to order PPE more than once per month. Any requests received less than 4 weeks since the last request will be disregarded.
General Practice, ACCHs and GPRCs
1. Living with COVID PPE bundles
- GPs, ACCHS and GPRCs willing to treat COVID positive patients face-to-face
- ACCHS and rural and remote GPs willing to treat COVID positive patients virtually and respiratory patients face-to-face, where workforce capacity is limited AND the GP is serving the community for most or all health needs.
PPE provided per eligible GP:
- 90 P2/N95 respirators
- 40 goggles or face shields
- 40 full length gowns
- 100 gloves
- 80 surgical masks
- 2 bottles of hand sanitiser
The bundle is intended to provide each GP with one month’s supply of PPE, but GPs who have a higher case load of COVID positive patients (ie over 40 patients) can order more frequently.
The provider number of relevant GPs treating COVID positive patients must be provided. Provider numbers will be used by the Department of Health to conduct allocation and verification checks.
2. Living with COVID top up PPE
Top up PPE is only available for those who are eligible for Living with COVID bundles where there are exceptional circumstances such as stock is damaged in transit.
Practices may order 10 pulse oximeters for managing COVID positive patients. This is a one-off supply.
4. Emergency provision PPE
- General practices and GPRCs managing respiratory patients face-to-face are eligible for 90 P2/N95 masks and one set of goggles or face shield per month per practice.
- General practices can access PPE where there is no local supply available commercially or from a State government scheme. Maximum supply for each practice per month is 90 P2/N95 masks, 1 set of goggles or face shield, 40 gowns, 1 box of surgical masks and 1 bottle of hand sanitiser.
The new PPE request form for GPs, ACCHOs and GPRCs is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DYDMTYB
1. Living with COVID PPE bundles
- Pharmacists directly administering the COVID-19 vaccination. The AHPRA registration number of the vaccinating pharmacist must be provided. Compliance checks and audits may be undertaken between vaccination volumes and PPE requests.
- 90 P2/N95 respirators. An order cannot be placed more than once every four weeks.
- a set of goggles as a one-off order.
2. Emergency provision PPE
Emergency Provision PPE can only be accessed where there is no local supply available commercially, or from another State or Territory government scheme. Eligible pharmacies can access 1 box of surgical masks no more than once every four weeks.
The new PPE request form for community pharmacy is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDR88DT
Allied health professionals
Allied health professionals can only access emergency provision PPE where there is no local supply available commercially or from a State government scheme. Eligible allied health professional organisations can request 1 box of surgical masks once per month and a one-off set of goggles or face shield.
The PPE request form for allied health professionals is here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KW2J3KZ
Guidance on the use of masks is available from DHHS.
Please note: EMPHN is required to submit data to the Department of Health each week on the distribution of PPE to general practices.