Department of Health and Social Care communication

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided confirmation on two issues raised by DMAG concerning access to PHE, and self-isolation due to close contact, as follows:-

Self-isolation due to close contact:

The funeral sector is a critical service and if you are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace you are able to appeal. Government guidance states:

“If NHS Test and Trace identify you as a contact and you work in a critical service where the recommendation for you to self-isolate would have impact on providing that critical service, your employer will need to escalate this to the local Health Protection Team (HPT) for a risk-assessment.”

You can read the full guidance here:

You can find your local HTP here:

Access to PPE:

All LRFs have received a stockpile delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that can be used to manage temporary increases in demand due to COVID-19 spikes, winter pressures or in case of any temporary issues with other distribution mechanisms. LRFs have been advised that PPE from the stockpile can be made available to any eligible social care, primary care and other public sector providers on the basis of clinical need in these circumstances. The private funeral sector should continue to procure PPE through their business as usual commercial supply channels. In the unlikely event that private providers find that they are unable to obtain the PPE through their usual suppliers, they can access emergency PPE via their local LRF stockpiles or via their Local Authority as a last resort.’

16 December 2020 Department of Health and Social Care