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Source: New Zealand Government

  • PPE distribution stocktake confirms processes are appropriate
  • Further work on streamlining decision-making and DHB complaints processes
  • Sir Brian Roche to provide further independent assessment

A rapid stocktake of the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment to community providers has confirmed DHB processes for handling and filling orders are appropriate.

The Ministry of Health has taken over and centralised the supply of PPE to all 20 DHBs, which in turn are distributing it to community providers in their district.

“Our frontline health and disability workers take great care of the public, and in turn they deserve access to appropriate PPE to keep themselves safe,’ David Clark said.

“New Zealand has good stocks of PPE, but there have been examples of community providers not getting the equipment they ordered in a timely way.

“As Health Minister I wanted assurance that the distribution of PPE is working, so late last month I asked the Ministry of Health to conduct a quick-turnaround stocktake.

“DHBs were asked to provide details about how they handled orders, distributed PPE and handled complaints.

“The Director General of Health has now reported back that based on the information provided he is confident ‘that all DHBs have appropriate processes in place to distribute PPE to all their community-based providers, to work closely with providers where there is a difference between provider expectations and supply at a point in time, and resolve any concerns or complaints.’

“His report did identify that there were some initial ‘teething’ issues where provider expectations were not met, but these have now been resolved. That gives me confidence that the distribution system is now working more efficiently.”

Four areas have been identified where the Ministry will work with DHBs to improve PPE distribution:

  • Clarifying interpretations of clinical guidance on PPE use
  • Streamlining decision-making
  • Ensuring timely turnaround of orders
  • Ensuring there are appropriate processes for recording and resolving complaints

“The results of this rapid stocktake are encouraging – particularly given the speed at which the new centralised distribution system was established and the sheer scale of demand for PPE from community providers.

“To provide further assurance that we remain on track, I have asked Sir Brian Roche to cast an independent eye over the information gathered for the stocktake.

“Sir Brian will also be able to ask further questions of the Ministry, DHBs, providers and others as he feels appropriate. He will advise me directly if he finds anything he feels needs further follow-up.

“As a country we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in PPE for health and disability workers. I am pleased the rapid stocktake shows that investment is working and PPE is making it out to frontline health providers in a timely and appropriate way,” David Clark said.

NOTE: Attached is a report from the Director General of Health outlining the result of the rapid stocktake, as well as a summary of the information provided by DHBs as part of the stocktake.