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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Urgent Needs

Northumbria Local Resilience Forum (NLRF)

As at 21 April 2020

The Department for Health and Social Care are putting in place a new website allowing the health and care system to order from a central inventory, expected to be available in the coming three weeks.

Please note: it will be expected that you have undertaken steps 1 and 2 under the 'Accessing PPE Supplies' section below within the last 48 hours before you access the new system.


NLRF Personal Protective Equipment Prioritisation

Public Health England (PHE) Guidance on use of Personal Protective  Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic now recommends that PPE be used in all direct care within 2 metres.

Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care action plan addresses the provision and use of PPE and the difficulties that providers of social care are experiencing in accessing PPE through their normal routes.

This is due to unprecedented levels of demand and changes in PPE requirements as a result of COVID-19.

In instances where the supply of PPE is not sufficient to meet the PHE requirements, the prioritisation below has been agreed by the NLRF, in order of priority.

This approach should only be taken in emergencies where sufficient PPE cannot be sourced in the immediate term.


1.     Any one or a combination of the scenarios below:

    • Staff providing direct care within 2m to suspected or confirmed Covid 19 case
    • Staff providing any direct care to anyone in a household where there are suspected or confirmed Covid 19 cases 
    • Staff providing any direct care or a visit  to an individual who is shielding or where a member of the household is shielding
    • Staff providing any direct care within 2m in a facility where there are suspected or confirmed Covid 19 cases
    • Staff working in a reception/communal area of a facility with possible and/or confirmed cases and unable to maintain 2m distance
    • Staff carrying out an aerosol generating procedure such as oral suctioning or care of tracheostomy on a suspected or confirmed Covid 19 case
    • Staff collecting any nasal swabs

    2.     Staff undertaking any aerosol generating procedures  

    3.     Staff providing direct care within 2m of all older people (70 years and over)

    4.     Staff providing direct care within 2m of all vulnerable younger people (those in at risk groups as defined nationally and including learning disability)

    5.     Staff providing direct care within 2m with many live contacts  where social distancing is largely but not always possible such as residential care or domicilliary care  (as opposed to staff working with a constant group of individuals) 

    6.     Staff providing direct care  within 2m working with fixed cohorts of children and young people

    7.     All other staff providing direct care within 2m


    Accessing PPE Supplies


    1.    Normal supply chain

    You must try to obtain your PPE from your usual supplier or wholesaler in the first instance. A list of additional suppliers you can try is given below. Organisations are expected to undertake their own due diligence before using any of the suppliers below.


    Organisation Healthcare Sector
    Alliance / NWOP 
    0330 100 0448 
    01928 750 500
    Pharmacy / GP Surgery
    Mckesson / AAH Pharma 
    0344 561 8899 
    Register at
    Williams Medical Supplies 
    01685 846 666 
    GP Surgery
    0800 023 2558  *
    DD Group 
    0800 585 586  
    Wright Health Group 
    01382 834 557 
    Trycare Ltd 
    01274 885544 
    Social Care (e.g. community care, home care, hospices)
    03300 552 288  *
    Social Care (e.g. community care, home care, hospices) 
    01756 706 050
    Social Care (e.g. community care, home care, hospices)
    Countrywide Healthcare 
    01226 719 090
    Social Care (e.g. community care, home care, hospices)
    Bunzl Greenham
    General supplies
    CMT Group
    020 8311 1144
    General supplies 
    0208 686 5544
    General supplies
    Gompels Healthcare Ltd.
    General healthcare
    0191 267 4981 
    General supplies
    Thomas Owen & Sons Ltd
    0191 276 3000
    General supplies

    Most distributors are open Mon-Fri, 8/9am - 5/6pm (varied); * indicates preferred contact method.


    2.   Mutual aid

    Seeking support from your local colleagues. This may be from existing networks that are already established, such as within a chain of pharmacies, or networks that have already been established by organisations in your sector.


    3.   Department of Health and Social Care PPE Portal

    You can order PPE through the Department of Health and Social Care Online Portal. The Department for Health and Social Care are working on with eBay to deliver PPE supplies.

    The service for primary care and social care is still at pilot stage and invitations were issued to providers in the Northumbria LRF on the 11th May 2020 by the Department for Health and Social Care.

    To Register please use the following link
    Only the email address included in the original email invite to your organisation, can be used to register for the portal.

    How will the PPE Portal work?
    The registration process includes email confirmation – if you do not receive this please check your junk mailbox.

    • Chrome and Firefox work better than old versions of Internet Explorer.
    • If you have problems accessing the site or registering please contact
    • If you must change the registration email address or delivery address please contact This will result in a delay to your ability to order PPE.
    • During this time you are only able to order IIR masks, aprons and gloves and there are limits on the volume of each item you can order within a seven-day period. You will see an error message if you have reached your maximum. Please re-order in a week.
    • Your order will be delivered via Royal Mail Tracked within 3 days. Please make sure you are able to receive deliveries.
    • As part of this pilot, we need to understand your usage rate of PPE for our planning. We will therefore contact you in the future to ask about your stock position.

    You should continue to access PPE through any commercial routes.

    4.   NLRF Emergency PPE Kit

    Limited supplies of PPE will be delivered to the NLRF so it can support local providers to respond to urgent shortages based on clinical need. This supply will only cover a short amount of time (days).

    The PPE stock to Local Resilience Forums is to be distributed only where there is a clear and pressing need and in line with the latest clinical guidance - COVID-19 - personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance.

    This PPE is intended to support:

    • Urgent need in vital services, where service providers have explored their usual routes for PPE and there remains an urgent need for additional stock
    • Those who currently have close, unavoidable contact with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 cases, including highly vulnerable groups. This includes adult social care (including care homes, personal assistants, home care, and supported living), hospices and palliative care, prison hospitals and local authority adult social care services for Covid-19 vulnerable groups
    • Some other services which may include children's homes, secure children's homes, residential special schools, children's social care services in local authorities, mental health community services, prison and court officers, police, mortuary and funeral services
    • Those that can outline their needs in line with the latest clinical guidance. This stock should not be distributed to organisations who cannot demonstrate that they meet the latest clinical guidance.

    Local services should make every effort to redesign services to minimise the number of frontline workers in close contact with symptomatic people.

    The NLRF PPE arrangements are in place for those providers experiencing an emergency problem. 

    Any provider that meets the criteria above and needs urgent access to PPE should complete the form below


    Emergency PPE Request Form


    The delivery will be shipped with whatever products can be fulfilled (for example, partial fulfilment). Raising a request does not guarantee that it can be resolved immediately.

    Please note, there is an expectation that providers will collaborate with each other to assist in the provision of PPE and that the above route is for emergency and immediate need only.

    The PPE provided to the LRFs is not expected to be used for NHS Acute Trusts or Ambulance Trusts as they are already being supplied via the NHS. For information about the supply of PPE to GP's, pharmacists, emergency dentists and optical providers, you should access NHS England's dedicated webpage.


    5. National Supply Disruption Response

    Providers who have an urgent requirement for PPE, which they are unable to secure through their usual channels, or via their Local Resilience Forum, should contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) via the helpline below:

    0800 915 9964*

    *this number is serviced 24 hours a day 7 days a week and is a freephone number in the UK.

    Required information

    Before calling the NSDR hotline, please ensure you can provide the following details to the call handler:

    • Name, email and telephone number of the requestor
    • Name, email and telephone number of a contact for the next 24 hours (for example, out of hours cover if the original requestor will be unavailable)
    • Delivery address - including postcode, and named contact for receiving deliveries
    • Confirmation that your organisation can receive the delivery outside of normal business hours
    • Number of COVID-19 patients being treated (confirmed and suspected)
    • Number of beds in your organisation (if appropriate)
    • How long your current PPE stock provides cover for (for example, less than 24 hours; 1 to 2 days, or more than 2 days)
    • Which products you are requesting and in what quantity

    The NSDR is focused on fulfilment of emergency requests, for example, where PPE is required in less than 72 hours. They do not have access to the full lines of stock held at other large wholesalers or distributors; but are able to mobilise small priority orders quickly.

    The NSDR has access to some pre-packed kits, similar to those delivered in the Government 'push' deliveries. Additional items can be requested (for example, goggles) and if stock of these is available they will be included in your delivery.

    The delivery will be shipped with whatever products can be fulfilled (for example, partial fulfilment). The delivery will not be delayed waiting for any additional items to be in stock. Once a delivery has been shipped your request will be closed; if you still require additional items you should raise a new case through the NSDR. Raising a request does not guarantee that it can be resolved immediately.

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