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Professional Resources

Advice on the PPE you should be using, how to use it correctly and also how to order PPE stocks.

Required PPE

To understand the latest PPE requirements, see:

Putting on and removing PPE

It is important to follow the correct donning and doffing guidance.

  • Before putting on PPE you must perform hand hygiene and make sure you are not wearing any jewellery.
  • You must doff or remove PPE and perform hand hygiene in the correct order to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

COVID-19: Putting on and removing PPE – a guide for care homes provides useful advice on how to don and doff PPE.

How to wear a medical mask safely (WHO)

Staff uniforms

The appropriate use of PPE will protect staff uniform from contamination in most circumstances. 

Staff working:

  • in residential environments should change into uniforms / dedicated work clothing, at work and not wear them when travelling. Uniforms should be transported home in a disposable plastic bag. After emptying contents, dispose of the bag into the household black bag waste stream
  • in the community (domiciliary care) will be wearing their uniform throughout their shift and as they travel between service users
  • in community-based services or visiting service users may not be wearing uniform but must take off and wash their clothes on returning home after their shift
  • as a personal assistant who may or may not be wear a uniform should follow the laundering advice below

Uniforms or clothes worn during work time should be laundered:

  • separately from any other household linen
  • in a load not more than half the machine capacity
  • at the maximum temperature the fabric can tolerate, then ironed, line dried or tumbled-dried.

Using PPE

Care homes

Please refer to the PPE FAQs on Infection prevention and control FAQs

In or from someone’s own home

Domiciliary care / personal assistant

Safe ways of working for all health and care workers

Where domiciliary care workers or personal assistants are providing direct care (within 2 metres) with people who may or may not be a confirmed case of COVID-19 should wear:

  • disposable gloves and apron
  • IIR (fluid resistant) surgical mask
  • eye / face protection (where a risk assessment so identifies)

When visiting someone’s home and either the person or a member of their household is in the extremely vulnerable group staff should wear:

  • disposable gloves and apron
  • eye / face protection (where a risk assessment so identifies)
  • II surgical mask to support shielding

Tables 2 and 4 provides a Summary of PPE recommendations for health and social care workers

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19: How to work safely in domiciliary care 

Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP)

AGPs include open suctioning of airways when caring for people with tracheostomies. AGP precautions are also required for people who are receiving ventilatory support such as CPAP.  Advice across LLR is that FFP3 masks should be worn when undertaking these procedures.

Further information on COVID-19: Personal protective equipment use for aerosol generating procedures 

Ordering PPE and escalation process

Before you can escalate any difficulties in obtaining PPE you must try:

Your suppliers and other local suppliers

You should continue to order PPE from your usual suppliers. If you’re unable to obtain the PPE you need through this route then you should try other local suppliers and where possible other sections of your organisation.

Dedicated supply for social care providers

If you’re still unable to obtain the PPE you require, try contacting one these suppliers:

PPE Portal for social care providers

From September 2020 the PPE Portal will provide emergency PPE to adult social care homes, domiciliary care and supported living. Services will receive an invitation to register.

The portal stocks:

  • Type IIR masks
  • FFP3 masks 
  • Aprons
  • Coveralls
  • Eye Protection
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Clinical waste bags
  • Gloves

There are weekly order limits, but these and the range of PPE stock items are being reviewed to meet all the Covid-19 PPE needs of the above sectors. 

Further detail can be found at PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment.

Queries regarding the PPE Portal should be directed to the PPE Portal Customer Service team on 0800 8766802.

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