DHSC seeks PPE Portal testers

Users of the PPE Portal are invited to register interest in participating in research to test a new version of the platform

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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is inviting optometrists to take part in user research to test a new platform for ordering personal protective equipment (PPE).

The DHSC is seeking users of its PPE Portal from across all sectors to support the testing of its new, updated portal.

The new portal will replace the existing platform, providing enhanced functionality and a range of new features.

The user research will be carried out in January. Research participants will be onboarded to the new portal and asked to order their PPE stock through the updated platform.

The DHSC expects that involvement in the testing will take no more than one hour a week, including using the platform and providing feedback.

Users will be asked to complete short surveys on the experience of using the existing and new platforms as well as participate in focus groups.

The department is particularly interested in hearing from users with accessibility requirements, such as those with disabilities or who are less familiar with using online platforms.

Inviting users to express an interest in the testing, the DHSC shared that participants will have the opportunity to gain early access to the new PPE Portal, adding: “Ahead of its full launch, this is a great opportunity to learn about the new platform and become comfortable using it.”

The department continued: “Your feedback is invaluable in ensuring our platform is meeting our users’ needs and is accessible to all.”

A team will be available throughout the testing process to provide support in using the new system.

DHSC emphasised that the launch of the research project does not mean that a decision has been made on whether the supply of free PPE for the health and care sectors will continue beyond March 2022.

A consultation on extending the provision of free PPE to health and care providers ran through October. Commenting on the considerations, the DHSC shared: “We will announce our decision in due course.”

Optical professionals who wish to register an interest in participating in the user research are asked to fill out a short form