To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the on-going additional costs to the care sector of the need for personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak in the (a) short, (b) medium and (c) long-term.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the capacity of the care sector to meet the costs of the additional personal protection equipment required for covid-19 infection control in the (a) short, (b) medium and (c) long-term.
The Government recognises that COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the social care sector. The Government has now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, such as adult social care, including the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
As of 29 June, we have released 149 million items of PPE to designated wholesalers for onward sale to social care providers. This includes 13 million facemasks, 57.6 million aprons and 78.3 million gloves. We have also introduced a temporary zero rate of VAT that applies to supplies of PPE as defined by Public Health England’s COVID-19 PPE guidance on 24 April 2020.
The Government will continue to monitor pressures in the health and social care systems and will keep future funding under review.