Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The supply and distribution of high quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline health and social care workers continues to be a critical part of our response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This statement marks a significant milestone in the efforts of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) and the Welsh Government with over 1 billion items of PPE having now been issued across health and social care since March 2020.
As we plan ahead for the winter and with COVID-19 continuing to place our health and social care systems under pressure, health and social care colleagues should have confidence that our PPE position continues to be stable. Throughout the winter NWSSP will 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.
In addition the people of Wales and colleagues working in the health and social care sectors should be assured that this level of support on the provision of PPE will continue with the Programme for Government committing us to continuing to provide free PPE for health and social care as long as is needed to deal with the pandemic. In delivering this commitment we have already extended the Service Level Agreement with Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) facilitating the supply of PPE to social care until March 2022 and will keep these arrangements, as well as those to provide free PPE to wider Primary Care, under review.
Welsh Government Officials also 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.
Any updates and amendments to the guidance will be communicated as soon as it is available through our appropriate networks however we would encourage health professionals to be aware of, and familiarise themselves with, the latest guidance, which is available at: Public Health Wales' guidance for health and social care professionals | GOV.WALES