NDIS Commission provides guidance on PPE for disability service providers
Under the cloud of COVID-19, NDS has been vigorously advocating across all Australian Governments, the Agency and Commission, for the ready access to PPE that disability service providers must have in order to service their clients and keep support workers safe.
This morning, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission released a Provider Alert about coronavirus and the ordering of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the National Medical Stockpile.
The Commission advises that access to the stockpile can be requested by emailing and is subject to a number of triage conditions:
"Requesting parties will be asked to demonstrate that:
- they have been unable to source masks through the open market
- existing stocks have been depleted
- who the requested masks are intended for
- how the masks are to be prioritised and distributed in order to minimise transmission to greatest effect
- how previous Stockpile stocks (if applicable) have been used efficiently and effectively.
In the event of an outbreak in a supported independent living setting, NDIS providers should contact the Department to request PPE from the Stockpile immediately."
Since receiving the Commission’s Provider Alert, a number of NDS members have spoken with us expressing concern that PPE they need to support their clients will not be made available under the outlined conditions.
NDS is escalating these concerns, along with emails that providers have received from the Commonwealth Department of Health which state GPs, community pharmacies, and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations are prioritised, with stocks also available to Aged care or institutional workers where there is a current outbreak. The email goes on to specifically state, “No other groups are currently being supplied with masks.”