Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE for COVID-19) Guidance for pharmacy teams

UPDATED 13/05/20 - Following a letter from the CPO Dr Rose Marie Parr on 8 April you should all now have received 2 x boxes of 50 surgical face masks for sessional use where 2 metres social distancing cannot be maintained. Due to the demand for PPE across Health and Social care settings, please ensure facemasks are only used when social distancing cannot be maintained and strictly in accordance with national guidance. It should be noted that every effort should still be made to maintain the 2 metres social distancing. Guidance on how to wear the masks is available at appendix 2 of the Primary Care Guidance -

Disposal of PPE

At the end of a session involving use of PPE, masks should be placed in a disposable plastic bag, then placed in a secondary disposal bag, tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the pharmacy’s domestic waste bin. If the pharmacy has a clinical waste contract or arrangements have been put in place with your local NHS Board, masks once removed can be placed into the clinical waste immediately. 

Reordering PPE - 0300 303 5550

A telephone reordering system specifically for pharmacies to order facemasks will be in place from Monday 20 April. This number is strictly private and not to be published into the public domain and we have sent you communications with the number so please check your Inbox (ensure you check your spam folders) if you haven't received the number please email  this line will be supported Monday – Friday between 08:00 – 20:00. You will be required to have your contractor code and post code to hand when ordering. Orders will be limited to 2 boxes of 50 masks each time to help manage supply. We would ask that you do not place an order until it is necessary and be mindful of the expected delivery time of 2 working days. Orders will be delivered by courier.

Please note: stock supplied may include those from the national stockpile that had an original expiry date dating back typically to 2016. As per the Interim Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith’s letter of 17 March to Boards, this stock has been subject to rigorous assessment and shelf-life extension by the manufacturer and is therefore safe to use.


Management of patients in primary care Including general dental practice, general medical practice, optometry and pharmacy (17/4/2020).

Letter from the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Rose Marie Parr (17/3/2020) clarifying the shelf life extension to facemasks