This guidance has been developed by the South West Health Protection Network. The advice in this document mirrors Devon County Council's.

Issue 4 (version 41 21.5.20) has been based on national guidance accurate as of 21 May 2020.

Contents

Document guidance and version updates

This guide has been developed in partnership with all South West Local Authorities to assist staff with interpreting the national guidance to determine whether and what type of PPE is required for different job roles within the local authority, education, community and social care settings.

This guide does not supersede national guidance but has been developed to try and support with local interpretation of multiple national documents and should be read in conjunction with national guidance.

Please note that this is a live document and will need to be updated following any changes to national guidance – changes will be logged below. This is the fourth issue of this document to staff.

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Changes to previous versions

Version 36 (29 April 2020) is based on new national PPE guidance published up until 29 April 2020.

We are currently in a period of sustained community transmission within the UK and Table 4 of the national PPE guidance, therefore, applies in the 'NHS and independent sector'. There has been considerable confusion regarding implementation of Table 4 for local authority and community settings and this has been raised nationally. However, the publication of subsequent guidance for care homes and domiciliary care settings supports the interpretation that Table 4 now applies in health and adult social care settings.

This fourth issue of the guidance for local authority staff (version 41 21.5.20) has been updated to reflect the new guidance on coronavirus symptoms, staying alert and safe (social distancing), staying safe outside your home and working safely, along with updated guidance for specific settings.

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Background​

Councils have been asked to identify Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing sets out some guiding principles, based on guidance on GOV.UK that can be used to inform local requests for PPE.

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Best practice use of PPE

The principles of PPE are that, if the risk cannot be controlled in another way, PPE should be used as a last resort.

Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 is very high (for example in clinical and some social care settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19), the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited and thus it is unlikely to be required.

When PPE is recommended, it should be used as part of a range of infection, prevention and control measures which includes

  • Adherence to the stay-at-home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.
  • Adherence to the staying alert and safe (social distancing) guidelines and the staying safe outside your home guidelines which include key advice about trying to keep two metres distance from others as a precaution where possible/appropriate.
  • Good hand hygiene measures, good respiratory hygiene and effective infection control practice. Good hand hygiene must be performed immediately before every care episode and after any activity or contact that potentially results in hands becoming contaminated. This includes the removal of PPE, equipment decontamination and waste handling. Good respiratory hygiene includes avoiding touching the mouth, nose and eyes wherever possible.
  • Cleaning and decontaminating of environments in accordance with the guidance.
  • Increased cleaning activity of surfaces which are touched regularly (e.g. door handles, lift buttons, communal areas like bathrooms, kitchens, tea points, handrails, remote controls and
  • tabletop) and keeping the area properly ventilated by opening windows and doors whenever safe and appropriate.
  • There is some evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics for a few days, although usually, it is shorter. Therefore, if you are working with people outside your household, wash your clothes regularly.
  • If available in your setting, PPE and other contaminated waste should be disposed of as clinical waste. Where not available, waste should be placed in a refuse bag and can be disposed of as normal domestic waste (not recycling) unless the client has symptoms of COVID-19 (new continuous cough OR fever OR loss/change to your sense of taste or smell) – see the advice below.
  • Waste from people with symptoms of COVID-19, waste from cleaning of areas where they have been (including disposable cloths and tissues) and PPE waste from their care:
    1. should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full;
    2. the plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied;
    3. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage for 72 hours. Waste should be stored safely and securely kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours. Storing for 72 hours saves unnecessary waste movements and minimises the risk to waste operatives.
  • Staff should take regular breaks and rest periods.

Standard infection control precautions (SICPs) and transmission-based precautions (TBPs) must be used when working with individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. SICPs should be used by all staff, in all care settings, for all patients/clients.

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When should PPE be worn?

Staff should have access to the PPE that protects them, and the individual they are helping, which is appropriate for the setting and context, including situations when employees would normally wear PPE as part of standard infection control measures required for that role.

The key issues governing requirements for employees to wear PPE in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the risk of exposure to someone with symptoms of COVID-19, and the likelihood of transmission (to either the staff member or to the individual they are helping) because of the care or procedures they are having to carry out.

As a general rule:

PPE is not required when risk can be managed through social distancing (e.g. maintaining social distancing and reducing the number of people you come into contact with regularly where you can), implementing sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace, and by excluding possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19 from the setting (e.g. in offices or schools) alongside adherence to the stay-at-home guidance.

This applies to local authority and community settings where all reasonable steps can be taken to control risks, maintain a 2 metre distance, and where cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures are in line with the guidance.

PPE is required

You are providing direct care to an individual within health and social care settings. Direct care in this context is defined as referring to all caring activities that involve direct physical contact with the client including help with washing, toileting, dressing, oral care and feeding, assistance with medication or walking and getting up/going to bed.

You are unable to maintain 2 metres social distancing from someone who is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (i.e. when someone has symptoms of COVID-19 or is currently isolating due to household exposure).

You are unable to maintain 2 metres social distancing and it is not possible to ascertain in advance the health status of individuals (i.e. whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19).

You are unable to maintain 2 metres social distancing in a high-risk setting. High risk settings include clinical, domiciliary and older adult care. Examples of low-risk settings include schools, offices, and most children’s social care settings.

PPE is also required in most circumstances where you are visiting or providing direct care to anyone outside your own home who is currently shielding (i.e. they are in the extremely vulnerable group). 

For the full range of scenarios, please see Table A below.

Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) are not usually undertaken by local authority staff and thus this guidance does not cover AGP scenarios. If you are required to undertake an AGP (on any individual regardless of symptoms), then a filtering face piece (class 3) (FFP3) respirator, a full-face shield or visor, a disposable long-sleeved fluid repellent coverall/gown (covering arms and body) and gloves should be worn. In these instances, please see guidance for health professionals. There is no evidence that respirators add value over FRSMs for droplet protection.

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What roles require PPE?

The general position is that workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside of health and social care settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Workplaces (outside of health and social care settings) should instead reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures as outlined in the following guidance.

There is separate guidance for working safely in care homes and in domiciliary care.

Our key message is that PPE generally is not required in settings when the risks can be managed through social distancing, self-isolation, hygiene and a change to working practices.

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Adult social care

Due to the vulnerability of the cohort and nature of the setting, PPE is generally recommended in residential and home care settings when a 2 metre distance cannot be maintained at all times. See Table A for a description of recommended PPE by role and context.

Guidance for people receiving direct payments and the advice in Table A for staff working within households should be followed.

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Education, Childcare and Children’s services

Most staff in education, childcare and children’s services will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain distance of 2 metres from others.

PPE is only needed in a small number of cases:

  • children, young people and learners whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way;
  • if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (new continuous cough OR fever OR loss/change to sense of smell or taste) while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn (see Table A).

Members of staff that have been supervising a child or young person with symptoms of COVID in a school or early years setting can return to work once the child/young person has been collected. They should not need to change their clothes if the guidance described here has been followed unless the clothes have been obviously soiled such as with vomit.

Community settings, like early years and schools, differ from household settings in that any child or young person with symptoms of COVID-19 should not be attending; therefore PPE is not considered necessary if the stay-at-home guidance is being followed by people with symptoms of possible coronavirus infection. However, as outlined above, we do recommend each school retains a small amount of emergency stock, should a learner become unwell in their setting and require care within 2 metres. Further advice is provided by the implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings guidance. This outlines actions that children and young people, their parents and those who work with them can take during the coronavirus outbreak, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is also not recommended as the risk is managed by reducing the number of new people staff and learners come into contact with. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. Most staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others.

Advice for shielded and clinical vulnerable children and staff – or for those living with a shielded or clinically vulnerable person

See Guidance for staff managing children and young people with education, health and care plans, including those with complex needs. This recognises that some children and young people with special educational needs present behaviours that are challenging to manage in the current context, such as spitting uncontrollably. In these circumstances, staff need to increase their level of self-protection, such as minimising close contact and having more frequent hand-washing and other hygiene measures, and regular cleaning of surfaces. Settings may need to carry out a risk assessment, if it is deemed that a child or young person may not be able to follow instructions, to determine what mitigations need to be put in place and whether, in rare circumstances, they should stay at home.

If escorts or special school staff are performing Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), then a filtering face piece (class 3) (FFP3) respirator, a full-face shield or visor, a disposable long-sleeved fluid repellent coverall/gown (covering arms and body)and gloves should be worn (see the guidance for health professionals). You can also refer to Table 2 of the national infection prevention and control guidance. For staff providing direct care, they can follow Table A.

If the children or young people being transported do not have symptoms of coronavirus, there is no need for a driver to use PPE.

In non-residential settings, any child, young person or other learner who starts displaying coronavirus symptoms while at their setting should, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. In exceptional circumstances, where this is not possible, and the setting needs to take responsibility for transporting them home, or where an asymptomatic child or young person needs to be transported between residential settings, you should do one of the following:

  • use a vehicle with a bulkhead
  • the driver and passenger should maintain a distance of 2 metres from each other
  • the driver should use PPE (see Table A), and the passenger should wear a face mask if they are old enough and able to do so

If non-symptomatic children present behaviours which may increase the risk of droplet transmission (such as spitting), they should continue to receive care in the same way, including any existing routine use of PPE. To reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, no additional PPE is necessary, but additional space and frequent cleaning of surfaces, objects and toys will be required. Cleaning arrangements should be increased in all settings, with a specific focus on surfaces which are touched a lot.

For the full range of scenarios, please see Table A below.

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Staff working in other LA roles, such as community settings and place-based services

The government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. There are 8 guides covering different types of work outside of health and social care settings. Please refer to the guide(s) that are most relevant to your workplace.

Staff who need to work in households (e.g. maintenance visits) outside of health and social care should follow this guidance. Staff should communicate with households prior to arrival, and on arrival, to ensure the household understands the social distancing and hygiene measures that should be followed once work has commenced.

Staff should maintain 2 metres social distancing wherever possible. Where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity, consideration should be given as to whether that activity needs to continue and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between staff. Refer to guidance on a range of suitable mitigation activities.

No work should be carried in a household which is isolating because one or more family members has symptoms – or where an individual has been advised to shield – unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. When working in a household where somebody is clinically vulnerable but has not been asked to shield (e.g. home of someone over 70), prior arrangements should be made with vulnerable people to avoid any face-to-face contact e.g. when answering the door. You should be particularly strict about handwashing, coughing and sneezing hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth and disposing of single-use tissues.

See guidance for staff working in vehicles. There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure because of the enclosed setting and the inability to maintain 2 metres social distancing from people you don’t usually come into contact with. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms.

On the whole PPE is not recommended for workers travelling together and a range of measures to mitigate risk have been developed. If whilst travelling you come into contact with people you do not normally meet, and are unable to maintain social distancing, use of a face covering whilst in the enclosed space is recommended. Vehicles should be regularly cleaned using gloves and standard cleaning products. 

The only circumstances where PPE is likely to be required is when staff are transporting someone who is symptomatic or a confirmed COVID-19 case. If 2 metres distancing is not possible, gloves, apron and a fluid-resistant surgical mask should be worn – otherwise, following the social distancing guidance and rigorous hygiene measures are enough.

Staff transferring a patient without COVID-19 symptoms to a medical appointment who are unable to maintain 2 metres distancing should wear a surgical mask.

For possible scenarios relating to community settings and place-based services, please see Table A below.

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Supporting those in the community who are shielding due to extreme vulnerabilities

For community settings, including the voluntary sector, who may be involved in providing support for people who are shielding because they are extremely vulnerable (e.g. shopping or dropping off medication), following the principles of social distancing and guidance on effective handwashing is sufficient.

For staff providing care within 2 metres or a home visit to anyone who is shielding (i.e. they are in the extremely vulnerable group (or where a member of the household is shielding), they should wear gloves, aprons, and a surgical face mask (this does not need to be fluid-resistant unless they are providing direct care).

For the full range of scenarios, please see Table A below.

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Unpaid carers

National guidance for those who provide unpaid care to family or friends does not recommend the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) over and above what you would usually use to provide care. However, in line with guidance for domiciliary care, we recommend that PPE may be helpful in some scenarios where you are providing care to someone you do not live with. If you are an unpaid carer in Torbay the carers’s service should have already written to you. If you would like to get in contact with anyone to discuss further, please call Signposts for Carers on (01803) 666620 or email signposts@nhs.net.

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Risk assessment for PPE

It is recommended that services continue to carry out risk assessments alongside the guidance to understand the requirements for individual situations. However, there may be occasions where this may not be feasible; for example, there may be a risk in child protection situations where getting accurate information about the household’s status regarding COVID-19 symptoms may be difficult if not impossible. If an employee cannot visit the family safely and maintain social distancing of 2 metres, then it would be reasonable to provide PPE.

  • Where appropriate please try and ascertain whether an individual or household member meets the case definition for a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 before the care episode. Refer to the current COVID-19 case definition.
  • Initial risk assessment for PPE where possible should take place by phone (or by other remote triage) prior to entering the premises or at 2 metres social distancing on entering.
  • Where the potential risk to health, education and social care workers cannot be established prior to face-to-face assessment or delivery of care within 2 metres, the recommendation is for health, education and social care workers in any setting to have access to and where required wear aprons, gloves, fluid-resistant surgical masks and eye/face protection.
  • Use Table A below to identify if/what PPE is required in relation to the scenario in which you are delivering care/support to an individual. This is to ensure adequate protection against the risks associated with the tasks that must be undertaken. We have tried to include a wide range of scenarios which reflect the work of local authorities and partners. Where a scenario is not included, please see advice from your line manager who can direct further enquiries to publichealth@torbay.gov.uk.
  • Organisations can also contact the local Public Health England Health Protection Team for advice (call 0300 303 8162 or email swhpt@phe.gov.uk).

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Table A - PPE guidance for staff and providers working within local authority, education, community and social care settings 

This table is aimed at staff and providers working within local authority, education, community and social care settings to determine if PPE is required following local risk assessment, with exception of staff who are handling the deceased (please refer to separate guidance).

This table does not supersede national guidance but has been developed by SW local authorities to try and support with local interpretation of multiple national documents.

The scenarios included are not exhaustive, but we have tried to cover a wide range to reflect the work of local authorities and partners.

Further advice may need to be sought from your line manager/relevant service area.​

Table A
This table is aimed at staff and providers working within local authority, education, community and social care settings to determine if PPE is required following local risk assessment, with exception of staff who are handling the deceased (please refer to separate guidance).
  1. A fluid-resistant surgical mask is needed where there is high risk from respiratory droplets (e.g. when undertaking tasks close to individuals who are repeatedly coughing). Eye protection may be needed for certain tasks where there is a risk of contamination to the eyes from respiratory droplets or from splashing of secretions (e.g. when undertaking prolonged tasksnear individuals who are repeatedly coughing or may be vomiting). The local Public Health England Health Protection Team can be contacted for advice: call 0300 303 8162 or email swhpt@phe.gov.uk.

    A surgical mask and eye protection can be used continuously while providing care until you take a break from duties (see safe use of PPE section). Gloves and aprons must be changed between individuals and hands and forearms cleaned after removal.

    Re-usable PPE (usually eye/face protection) can be used – advice on suitable decontamination arrangements should be obtained from the manufacturer, supplier or local infection control policy. Your manager will advise you where this applies.

    PPE should not be subject to continued use if damaged, soiled, compromised or uncomfortable – please refer to the national guidance. Sessional use should always be risk assessed and considered where there are high rates of community cases.

    If performing Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs), then a filtering face piece (class 3) (FFP3) respirator, a full-face shield or visor, a disposable long-sleeved fluid repellent coverall/gown (covering arms and body) and gloves should be worn – these procedures are not usually undertaken by local authority staff however (please see the guidance for health professionals). Where an AGP is a single procedure, PPE is subject to single use with disposal after each patient contact or procedure as appropriate.

  2. PPE is only one form of mitigation activity that can be used to reduce COVID risk in the workplace (see Section 2 and relevant PHE guidance for how to work safely in your workplace). PPE is only effective when combined with good hand hygiene measures, good respiratory hygiene and effective infection control practice. Hand hygiene must be performed immediately before every care episode and after any activity or contact that potentially results in hands becoming contaminated. This includes the removal of PPE, equipment decontamination and waste handling. Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water wherever possible as first line. If handwashing facilities are not available for some staff roles, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser for 20-30 seconds that contains at least 60% alcohol. The effectiveness of hand sanitiser requires clean, non-soiled hands and please wash hands at your first opportunity. Handwashing should include washing of forearms when forearms have been exposed or may have been exposed to respiratory droplets or other body fluids. All staff should practice good respiratory hygiene – avoid touching mouth, nose and eyes wherever possible
  3. If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of virus may be present or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose might be necessary. The local Public Health England Health Protection Team can advise on this (call 0300 303 8162 or email swhpt@phe.gov.uk). If possible, keep the contaminated area closed off and secure for 72 hours. After this time the amount of virus contamination will have decreased substantially, and you can clean as normal with your usual products.

  4. When the term direct care is used, this refers to all caring activities that involve physical contact with the client including help with washing, toileting, dressing, oral care and feeding, assistance with medication or walking and getting up/going to bed.

  5. Face coverings may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure if you are in an enclosed space where social distancing is not possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet (e.g. people who are not part of your usual home or work environment).

  6. Members of staff that have been supervising a child or young person with symptoms of COVID in a school or early years setting can return to work once the child/young person has been collected. They should not need to change their clothes if the guidance described here has been followed unless the clothes have been obviously soiled for example with vomit.

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Safe use of PPE

Putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) PPE in the correct way is key for it to provide effective protection. See guidance for further information.

You need to put on your PPE at least two metres away from the person you are visiting and anyone in the household with a cough. You will need to decide the best place to do this. For example, you could do so just before or just after entering the client’s home or in a separate room to the client. Similarly, you should take off PPE when at least two metres away from the client or any person who has a cough.

PPE guidance sets out when single and sessional (continual) use is appropriate.

In general terms:

  • Gloves and aprons are single use. This means they should be changed after every service-user contact. For example, if you are seeing three service users in one setting, you would need to use three sets of gloves and aprons.
  • Face masks and eye protection are for sessional (continual) use. This means they can be used continuously until needed for your next duty period. There is no evidence to show that discarding disposable respirators, facemasks or eye protection in between each patient reduces the risk of infection transmission to the worker or patient, and frequent handling of this equipment to discard and replace it could potentially increase risk of exposure. The advice is:
    • You can wear the same face mask between residents/clients whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. You should not touch your face mask or allow it to dangle around your neck.

    • You may wear the same face mask between different homecare visits if it is safe to do so while travelling, and you are able to avoid touching the mask, and have no need to remove it during your journey (e.g. to have a drink).

    • Masks and eye protection should NOT be subject to continued use if damaged, soiled (e.g. with secretions, body fluids), uncomfortable or causing skin irritation or when the mask becomes damp.

  • When removing and replacing PPE ensure you are 2 metres away from clients and other staff – see Donning of PPE video.
  • Most PPE is disposable after use (following the steps set out in section 2). However, certain items are manufactured to be re-usable. This most commonly applies to eye/face protection items (i.e. goggles or visors). Re-usable items should be clearly marked as such and identified in advance by your organisation/manager. Re-usable PPE items may be used providing they are appropriately cleaned or stored between uses, according to the manufacturer’s instructions or local infection control policy. Your manager will advise you where this applies. The World Health Organization advises that goggles can be cleaned with soap/detergent and water followed by disinfection using either using either sodium hypochlorite 0.1%  (followed by rinsing with clean water) or 70% alcohol wipes. Goggles may be cleaned immediately after removal and hand hygiene is performed OR placed in designated closed container for later cleaning and disinfection; refer to full guidance.

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What should you do if there is a supply shortage of PPE and you are unable to follow PPE recommendations?

You should inform your manager if you are concerned about any shortage of PPE.

Refer to advice approved by the Health and Safety Executive on strategies for optimising the use of PPE and consideration for the re-use of PPE when in short supply.

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Equipment specifications

It is important that recommended PPE are the right specification to provide adequate protection to yourself and others. The essential technical specification for PPE equipment has been published by the Government. This includes details of the required relevant standards for design and performance, usually denoted by a BS EN number.

When surgical masks or fluid resistant surgical masks are recommended, homemade face masks or cloth masks are not an adequate alternative.

Fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical masks (FRSM)

  • Provide barrier protection against respiratory droplets (from coughing or sneezing) reaching the mucosa of the mouth and nose. There is no evidence that respirators add value over FRSMs for droplet protection
  • Should be well fitted
  • Single use or single session use and then discarded and not subject to continued use
  • Relevant Standard: BS EN 14683 (ensure Type IIR)

Surgical (Type II) masks

  • Provide barrier protection against respiratory secretions (e.g. those produced when talking) reaching the mucosa of the mouth and nose but not from droplets produced e.g. from coughing
  • Should be well fitted
  • Single use or single session use and then discarded and not subject to continued use
  • Relevant Standard: BS EN 14683 (ensure Type IIR)

Eye and face protection

  • Provides protection against contamination to the eyes from respiratory droplets, splashing of secretions, blood, body fluids or excretions
  • Use any one of the following:
    • surgical mask with integrated visor
    • full face shield or visor
    • polycarbonate safety spectacles or equivalent
  • Regular corrective spectacles are not considered adequate eye protection
  • Eye protection should be:
    • well fitted
    • optically clear
    • resistant to fogging
    • resistant to droplets and splashes
    • not allowed to dangle after or between each use
    • not touched once put on
    • removed outside the patient room, cohort area or 2 metres away from possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • Can either use:
    • Disposable, single-use, eye and face protection
    • Or re-usable eye and face protection if decontaminated between single or single sessional use, according to the manufacturer’s instructions or local infection control policy
  • It is important that the eye protection maintains its fit, function and remains tolerable for the user. Eye and face protection should be discarded and replaced and not be subject to continued use if damaged, soiled (e.g. with secretions/body fluids) or uncomfortable

Relevant Standards: BS EN 166:2002 or Technical Specification to satisfy the requirements of Annex II of PPE Regulation (EU 2016/425)

Disposable aprons and gowns

  • Disposable gloves must be worn when providing direct patient care and when exposure to blood and or other body fluids is anticipated or likely, including during equipment and environmental decontamination
  • Disposable gloves are subject to single use and must be disposed of immediately after completion of a procedure or task and after each patient contact, followed by hand hygiene.

Disposable gloves (examination gloves)

  • Disposable gloves must be worn when providing direct patient care and when exposure to blood and or other body fluids is anticipated or likely, including during equipment and environmental decontamination
  • Disposable gloves are subject to single use and must be disposed of immediately after completion of a procedure or task and after each patient contact, followed by hand hygiene
  • Should be made from well-established materials for this product such as nitrile, vinyl or latex
  • Relevant Standards: BS EN 455-3:2015; 455-4:2009; ANSI/ISEA 105 or ASTM D6319

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PPE distribution

The process for PPE distribution varies by service area and employer. Please refer to accompanying local guidance and/or speak to your line manager.

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Further information

If you have any queries please contact your line manager, or commissioner, in the first instance. 

For further advice please see the national website for infection prevention control advice and PPE advice in full.

Contact publichealth@torbay.gov.uk for this guidance document.

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