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Professional Resources

Advice on the PPE you should be using, how to use it correctly and 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

Domiciliary care/personal assistant (in or from someone’s own home)

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. These should be fit-tested to ensure that staff are protected through good contact the wearer’s skin and the face seal of the mask.

Fit testing should be repeated regularly according to organisational policy, when staff members experience facial feature changes (e.g. due to changes in weight or dental treatment) or there is a change in make or model of the FFP3 in use.

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

Ordering PPE and escalation process

Your suppliers and other local suppliers

You should continue to order PPE from your usual suppliers for non Covid-19 related work.

PPE Portal for social care providers

Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Providers will receive an invitation to register.

The following services can use the portal:

  • Residential social care providers
  • Domiciliary social care providers
  • Children’s care homes and secure homes
  • Children’s residential special schools
  • Community drug and alcohol services
  • Residential drug and alcohol services

The portal stocks:

  • Type IIR masks
  • Aprons
  • Visors
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Gloves

There are weekly order limits, but these are kept under review to ensure they meet latest public health guidance and Covid-19 demand.

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.

Access to PPE for social care providers not on the Portal

The following services will continue to be supported by the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) 

  • Local authority services (including children and adult social care workers)
  • Mental health community care
  • Personal assistants (LA and CCG commissioned – funded through Direct Payments and Personal Health budgets)
  • Domestic violence refuges
  • Rough sleeping services
  • Childcare and Education Settings (Early Years, Schools and Further Education)

The LFR holds the following free PPE to meet Covid-19 demand:

  • Type IIR masks
  • Aprons
  • Visors
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Gloves
  • Waste sacks

In addition 

  • Non-Sterile gowns
  • Coveralls
  • FFP3 masks (make and model specific, subject to current face fit test and availability)*

Services will be contacted by their local authority to arrange distribution. Supply routes will be via a combination of delivery, collection and responding to requests for replacement stock as needed.

Eligible organisations are asked to use this online order form to progress any requests for Covid-19 related PPE.

*Please email any orders for FFP3 masks to Directpaymentqueries@leics.gov.uk giving the make and model of the mask on which you passed your fit test, and the quantity required.

Please note these forms will be actioned during normal working hours, any forms received outside of these hours will be actioned on the next working day.

Please contact LRF.PPESupport@leics.gov.uk with any queries.

Further details can be found at Personal protective equipment (PPE): local contacts for care providers

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