Update on obtaining further PPE supplies

24 Apr 2020

Read the latest update on obtaining further PPE supplies around the UK


With PPE as a precious commodity due to international shortages it is essential that community pharmacies follow the guidance below in procuring PPE for staff to use. Fluid resistant masks are an essential resource for the protection of community pharmacy teams, where supply can be obtained these masks must be available for use by this population.

A PPE portal owned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is being developed.

Until the portal is launched, DHSC advises that community pharmacies should continue to utilise existing channels to obtain further supplies of PPE.Please find below a summary of the steps to take to try and obtain PPE during the pandemic. Contractors are reminded to keep a record of costs incurred in obtaining PPE during this time.

1. Order references for masks in stock from major wholesalers are:

• Alliance                8019622

• AAH                      NSU2A

• Phoenix                6762546

Please be aware that a statement released from the Healthcare Distribution Association on the 29 April 2020 noted that PPE supplied from Public Health England via wholesalers has almost run out. Read the full statement here.

2. Local resilience forums (LRFs) are partnerships comprised of representatives from different local public services, including emergency services, local authorities and the Environment Agency. Contractors may contact their local resilience forums by emailing PPECELL@communities.gov.uk or finding the details of their local team here.

3. If, after trying the above channels, contractors are still not successful in obtaining PPE, it is recommended that pharmacies ring their respective Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC). Several LPCs are now setting up helpCovid-19 helplines and providing other local support during the pandemic. Contact details for LPCs can be found here.

Update 3 August 2020: Pharmacies are now able to order additional PPE through the PPE portal to top-up their existing supply in an emergency. As the PPE portal is an emergency top-up system, pharmacies should continue to order PPE via the usual routes, for example, through wholesalers. For further details, click here.


Pharmacies in Scotland have received two boxes of surgical masks to be used when social distancing cannot be maintained. To replenish stock, pharmacy contractors can phone orders of 2×50 masks to the NHS PPE replenishment number provided by NHS mail earlier this week. There is a two day delivery service.  If you do not have the order phone line, please request by emailing   enquiries@cps.scot 


Northern Ireland:

PPE supplies are currently being replenished by Department of Health NI.  The Department has established a new dedicated email contact point for all staff to raise any concerns they may have in relation to PPE. The email address is Covid19PPE.queries@health-ni.gov.uk.



Community pharmacies will have received a request from their Local Health Board (LHB) to inform them of their current stock levels of PPE; pharmacies are asked to complete this and return in a timely fashion to their LHB as it will inform the ordering of additional PPE requirement for their pharmacy. This request for PPE stock levels will then be repeated by Health Boards at regular intervals.


NPA Pharmacy Essentials: PPE Supply via EMT Healthcare

The following PPE is available through our business partner EMT Healthcare. Whilst use of these items of PPE is not in line with the PPE recommendations for COVID-19 issued by Public Health England for pharmacy staff these items may provide staff some protection and reassurance during this difficult time, when the recommended products are unavailable.

Basic Visor: £6.95 each

Visor: £10.95 each

3 ply face masks: £35 for 1 box of 50