The health, well-being and safety of Non-Government Organisation (NGO) staff delivering services to members of the community is of the utmost importance to NSW Health.
NSW Health funded NGOs must actively assess their service interactions with clients and patients to identify the risk of transmission of COVID-19. NGOs must identify what preventative steps need to be taken based on regularly updated advice provided by NSW Health and through the NGO Community of Practice.
Some NGOs may need to continue to deliver clinical services to clients or patients who are considered high risk if exposed to COVID-19. Where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to mitigate risks, no service should be delivered unless relevant PPE can be provided to clients, patients or staff. Safety comes first.
The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) has created contact, droplet and airborne precaution resources, including PPE training videos to be used in healthcare settings – CEC guidance.
The CEC has also created COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Home Visits which provides specific infection prevention and control guidance to healthcare and NGO providers that deliver care, assessment, treatment or support to patients/clients in their home.
Requests for PPE by NGO partners
NSW Health funded NGOs should first access the PPE supplies portal for industry and the community
NGOs should use the PPE supplier list for industry to secure supplies needed for safe and robust service delivery in their local communities.
The list has over 200 suppliers who have indicated they can provide a range of PPE products, including hand sanitiser, handwash and soap, gloves, disinfectant, gowns, masks, eyewear and paper products. You can search for suppliers by postcode or suppliers’ service areas.
NSW Health funded NGOs that remain impacted
If a NSW Health funded NGO provider remains impacted by a short term supply chain gap for PPE, it can make a request to NSW Health to be considered for urgent supplies.
NGOs making a request should be those delivering clinical services and where clear risks have been identified for clients, patients and/or staff.
Requests should only be submitted by NGOs that have issues with their normal supply chain and have exhausted other options to try and source alternative supply chains, including the PPE suppliers portal list for industry above.
Priority will be given to facilities where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19.
NGOs requesting consideration for PPE supplies will need to complete the following questions and submit responses to their NGO grant manager:
- The facility, program or service requiring PPE.
- Summary of the service being provided including brief rationale for providing face-to-face.
- If your NGO has a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your facility, program or service.
- Have you exhausted current supply and alternative supply chain options?
- Please include:
How many days of stock on hand does your facility, program or service have?
How does the use of PPE align to current CEC guidelines?
Details of measures you will take to secure stock. Is there a centralised store for PPE, and a register of items issued?
What is the impact to service delivery and patient safety if the products are not supplied?
- list of activities where PPE is required,
- PPE required per activity,
- average number of activities/day or in case of extended wear average number of staff and PPE required/day.
Assessment of requests
NSW Health grant managers will triage requests to determine priority and may be in contact with the NGO requesting supplies for further information. If a request then proceeds to HealthShare NSW, an assessment will be made on whether NSW Health can provide support, and if so the level to which this is possible within the context of current priority areas across health settings.
PPE remains a precious resource, so it is critical that it is used wisely and consistently with the evidence provided by CEC.
Community Care and Priority Populations Unit, Health and Social Policy Branch – NGO Community of Practice Secretariat.
Dr Nigel Lyon, Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning, NSW Ministry of Health.
For use by
- NSW Health funded NGO providers
- NSW Health grant managers.