Last reviewed 11 February 2021

Unpaid carers across the country, who do not live with the people they care for, can now benefit from free personal protective equipment (PPE) through a new national scheme.

Following a successful pilot scheme to establish the distribution method and logistics, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has confirmed that the initiative will cover “extra-resident” unpaid carers who need it so that they can continue to keep themselves and those they care for safe if they have to move between households.

Local authorities and local resilience forums (LRFs) have been informed of the extended PPE offer and already almost two-thirds have signed up to offer support.

Minister for Care Helen Whately is now calling for more to take part as work has begun to set up distribution systems nationwide. Financial support is available for local authorities and LRFs taking part in the scheme.

Ms Whately said: “Working with local authorities and voluntary organisations, we have already improved access for carers to testing and supported day services to stay open safely during this second wave. I’m pleased we can now roll out free PPE for those unpaid carers who are advised to use it.”

As key workers, the Minister pointed out, unpaid carers are also able to access priority testing through the Government’s testing portal when they have symptoms.