COVID-19: PPE

Page last updated: 4:30pm, 7 June 2022

The Australian Department of Health is distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) from the National Medical Stockpile to the following eligible health services:

  • general practices
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)
  • general practice respiratory clinics (GPRCs)
  • community pharmacies
  • nurse practitioner owned or led primary care practices
  • allied health services.

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network is responsible for accepting PPE requests from eligible primary care providers. We process all PPE requests and submit them to the Australian Department of Health once per week.

Please use our new PPE request form below to view eligibility information and request PPE. All primary care providers listed above can use this form.

PPE request form

Eligibility

  • General practices, ACCHS and GPRCs

     The following eligibility information for GPS, ACCHS and GPRCs is contained in the Australian Department of Health fact sheet (.pdf).

    Living with COVID PPE Bundles

    What general practitioners are eligible for Living with COVID PPE Bundles?

    The following eligibility criteria will be applied to Living with COVID PPE Bundles:

    • GPs, ACCHSs and GPRCs willing to treat COVID positive patients face-to-face, until 30 June 2022
    • ACCHSs 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, until 30 June 2022
    • GPs and GPRCs willing to support COVID positive people virtually, and respiratory patients face-toface are eligible to access P2/N95 and eye protection, until 31 March 2022.

    What type and quantities of PPE are available in a Living with COVID PPE Bundle?

    The Living with COVID PPE bundles include the following items, and are intended to provide 4 weeks supply of PPE. Each bundle contains:

    • P2/N95 respirators (90 units)
    • Either goggles or face shields (40 units)
    • Full length gowns (40 units)
    • Gloves (100 units)
    • Surgical masks (80 units)
    • Hand sanitiser (2 bottles)

    How long is a Living with COVID PPE Bundle expected to last?

    The Living with COVID PPE Bundle is intended to supply each practitioner with 1 month supply of PPE (equivalent to 40 patient visits). If practitioners have a higher case load (i.e., over 40 patients), bundles can be ordered more frequently.

    Pulse Oximeters

    How many pulse oximeters am I eligible for?

    There is currently an allocation of 10 pulse oximeters per practice. You will not be eligible for pulse oximeters if you have already ordered / received your allocation from the National Medical Stockpile.

    Living with COVID Top Up PPE

    Under what circumstances would Top Up PPE be ordered?

    Top Up PPE items are only ordered under exceptional circumstances. For example, stock has been damaged in transit i.e., broken bottle or hand sanitiser.

    What type of Top Up PPE can be ordered?

    Eligible GPs can access the following Top Up PPE:

    • P2/N95 Respirators (90 units)
    • Goggles / Face Shields (40 units)
    • Gowns (40 units) Surgical masks (100 units)
    • Surgical masks (80 units)
    • Hand Sanitiser (1 bottle)

    Emergency Provision PPE

    Under what circumstances would Emergency Provision PPE be ordered?

    Emergency Provision PPE can only be accessed where there is no local supply available commercially, or from another State or Territory government scheme, except for GPs and GPRCs willing to support COVID positive people virtually, and respiratory patients face-to-face, who are eligible to access P2/N95 and eye protection, until 31 March 2022.

    What Emergency Provision PPE is available to general practice?

    GPs can access the following Emergency Provision PPE once per month per practice:

    • P2/N95 Respirators (90 units)
    • 1 Goggle Face Shield (1 unit)
    • Gowns (40 units)
    • Surgical masks (1 box)
    • Hand Sanitiser (1 bottle)
  • Community pharmacies

     The following eligibility information for community pharmacies is contained in the Australian Department of Health fact sheet (.pdf).

    Living with COVID PPE Bundles

    What pharmacists are eligible for Living with COVID PPE Bundles?

    Living with COVID Bundles are strictly limited to pharmacists who are directly administering the COVID-19 vaccination. Compliance checks and audits may be undertaken between vaccination volumes and PPE requests.

    What type and quantities of PPE are available in a Living with COVID PPE Bundle?

    Each Living with COVID PPE Bundle contains:

    • P2/N95 respirators (90 units) can be ordered monthly
    • Either a goggle or face shield (1 units) a one off single order as this item can be re-used.

    How long is a Living with COVID PPE Bundle expected to last?

    The Living with COVID PPE Bundle is intended to supply each eligible pharmacist with 1 month supply of PPE. You must not place an order for P2/N95 respirators if you have placed a previous order within the last 4 weeks. You must not place an order for a goggle/ face shield if you have placed a previous order, as this is a one-off order (as this item can be washed and re-used).

    How long will Living with COVID PPE Bundles be made available to pharmacists?

    The provision of P2/N95 respiratory and eye protection for pharmacists directly involved with COVID-19 vaccinations is expected to end on 30 September 2022.

    Are pharmacists eligible for pulse oximeters?

    Unlike general practice, pharmacists are not eligible for pulse oximeters. Are pharmacists eligible for Top Up PPE? Unlike general practice, pharmacists are not eligible for Top Up PPE.

    Emergency Provision PPE

    Under what circumstances would Emergency Provision PPE be ordered?

    Emergency Provision PPE can only be accessed where there is no local supply available commercially, or from another State or Territory government scheme.

    What Emergency Provision PPE is available to pharmacy?

    Eligible pharmacies can access the following Emergency Provision PPE:

    • Surgical masks (1 box)

    Are pharmacists eligible for pulse oximeters?

    Unlike general practice, pharmacists are not eligible for pulse oximeters.

    Are pharmacists eligible for Top Up PPE?

    Unlike general practice, pharmacists are not eligible for Top Up PPE.

  • Nurse practitioners and allied health services

    Nurse practitioner owned or led primary care practices and allied health services in areas of highest risk can request emergency PPE (surgical masks and goggles/face shields). This is in accordance with the Australian Department of Health’s Tranche 4 guidance (.pdf).


Proper use of PPE


PPE options for other health care providers

  • PPE distribution to residential aged care providers from the Commonwealth Department of Health

    If Commonwealth funded aged care providers are experiencing shortages and are unable to obtain masks from any other source, the National Medical Stockpile may be in a position to provide a small supply. This is to supplement existing supplies for aged care providers, including DVA aged care providers.

    All requests will be considered, and, if appropriate, approval will be given to dispatch stock from the states and territories. States and territories may distribute National Medical Stockpile supplies to Commonwealth funded aged care providers, on behalf of the Commonwealth.

    After a facility has explored alternative supply options, they may request supply from the National Medical Stockpile by emailing AgedCareCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au

    This request will be reviewed and triaged based on need and urgency, with priority given to aged care providers where there has been a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Facilities may be contacted for further information about their request to determine priority, and may also be requested to reimburse the Stockpile at cost depending on circumstances

    Visit the Department of Health website and read the tranche 4 guidance for more information.

    Update 5 August 2020

    Primary Health Networks are not distributing PPE to residential aged care providers. All requests should go direct to the Department using the method outlined above.

  • Mask distribution to health and community services funded or regulated by DHHS

    The following types of DHHS funded organisations can request PPE by emailing Covid19PPErequest@dhhs.vic.gov.au

    • Community health services
    • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
    • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
    • Alcohol and other drug service providers
    • Mental health care providers
    • Palliative care providers

    DHHS has also provided another email address specifically for community services organisations that are funded or regulated by DHHS: CSPPE@dhhs.vic.gov.au

    Priority is given to facilities with confirmed or suspected cases so please continue to source PPE commercially where you can.

    More information

  • Mask distribution to NDIS providers

    If NDIS and disability support providers are experiencing shortages and are unable to obtain masks from any other source, the National Medical Stockpile may be able to provide a small supply to supplement existing supplies.

    After disability support providers have explored alternative supply options, they can submit a request for supply from the National Medical Stockpile by emailing NDISCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au

    All requests will be reviewed and triaged based on urgency, with priority given to disability support providers and self-managing participants where there is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. Providers may be contacted for further information about their request to determine priority. Providers may also be requested to reimburse the NMS at cost depending on circumstances. For care workers to protect themselves and the vulnerable people with disabilities they are caring for it is important to undertake the training available at covid-19training.gov.au

    Read the Commonwealth Department of Health tranche four guidance document for more information.

  • Hand sanitiser

    Primary health care services can now request a bulk supply of hand sanitiser through the organising committee from the Facebook Practice Managers Network using this form which provides further information.

    Please note the following:

    • Supply is now no longer restricted to one unit of 5L or 20L hand sanitiser.
    • If you have already purchased hand sanitiser using the above form, your details are being uploaded to the supplier, WaterTest Systems, and you can use the following process for re-orders:
      1. Set your password
      2. Once you are logged in to the site, click here to order 5L or click here to order 20L
      3. Only authorised accounts will be able to access the above links. To get your colleagues authorised, direct them to use the form.

    This is an independent service not operated by or associated with North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network.