Close contact workers Healthcare & Coronavirus NHS & COVID-19

NHS PPE Policy

NHS PPE Policy

NHS PPE Policy

This is a guide to the current NHS PPE Policy in accordance with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is relevant to NHS healthcare staff across all health, social care and care settings.

An outline of current requirements regarding NHS PPE Policy to adhere to to comply with infection prevention and control.

This new guidance for NHS PPE Policy from the UK Government and NHS leaders is for NHS teams who are actively working with or likely to come in contact with COVID-19 patients.

The current NHS PPE Policy supersedes all previous guidance and has been agreed by the 4 Chief Medical Officers, Chief Nursing Officers and Chief Dental Officers in the UK.

This update reflects the evolution of the pandemic and the increased likelihood of clinicians dealing with patients who have contracted the COVID-19 virus, due to the spread of the Coronavirus in the community.

Some patients with the virus may not exhibit any or obvious symptoms. This advice for NHS PPE has been confirmed as meeting the WHO (World Health Organisation) recommendations for dealing in high virus exposure and risk scenarios.

The safest level of NHS PPE is recommended under these front line conditions and all appropriate types of PPE in health and social care according to the healthcare setting will be outlined below.

Knowledge on the right NHS PPE equipment according to the scenario is crucial to prevent shortages caused by unnecessary use of frontline NHS PPE being used when not required.

 

The NHS PPE Guidance Advises

All clinicians that are working in a hospital environment, primary care or in a community care setting that is within the 2 metre social distancing recommendation of a potential or confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 patient, is required to wear a surgical mask, eye protection, an apron and gloves, such as nitrile gloves, based on risk.

In some cases PPE, such as masks and eye protection, for the protection of the health care worker, can be worn for the whole shift without requirement for changing between patients, if safe to do so (exceptions outlined below)

 

A detailed overview of what PPE for the varying clinical environments and aspects, including:

Importance of PPE for the highest risk procedures carrying out aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), this requires the clinicians to wear a higher level of PPE (personal protective equipment)

Aprons can be replaced by gowns in non AGP (aerosol generating procedures) There is advice on the thorough washing of forearms if any exposure risk, inline with the bare below the elbow UK policy.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended the use of FFP2 masks but the UK has gone further to use the higher grade FFP3 masks. As stated WHO confirm that use of the FFP2 masks meets recommended safety levels.

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