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COVID-19 updates for adult social care and health providers


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Please see Personal Assistants for information on PPE for PAs.

Accessing PPE supplies

Eligible health and social care providers (residential and home care providers) can use the PPE portal to meet the extra need for PPE that has arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information on eligibility is in the PPE portal guidance.

You should not use the portal to order PPE for non-COVID-19 requirements. You should get this through your normal channels.

If you are not eligible for the portal and/or you cannot obtain PPE through any other route and have run out or will do so imminently, contact the National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) on 0800 915 9964.

PPE guidance for Care Homes

COVID-19: How to Work Safely in Care Homes

The COVID-19: How to Work Safely in Care Homes Guidance on determining the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use, is regularly updated. This link will always go straight to the most up-to-date version of the guidance. 

This guidance is intended for all care workers working in care homes in England. It can also be applied to visitors or essential care-givers within the care home setting

Updates reflect the current COVID-19 situation in England, the latest scientific evidence at this stage of the pandemic and stakeholder and user feedback.

Recent key changes are stated at the top of the guidance, as follows: 

18 May 2021

Added note explaining that the infographics are being reviewed and will be updated shortly in line with the guidance.

17 May 2021

Updated to clarify when to change face masks, difference between source control and PPE and updated section on waste including PPE.

Webinar on updates to this guidance

A one hour webinar covering the latest updates to the  changes to PPE guidance was hosted on 18 May 2021 by the DHSC, chaired by Chief Nurse Deborah Sturdy.

A recording of this webinar can be viewed at any time, here:

Recording of the Webinar - COVID-19: How to work safely in care homes (held on 18.05.21) 

The full guidance provides a minimum standard on PPE use. Organisations which adopt practices that differ from those stated in the national guidance are responsible for ensuring safe systems of work, including completing a risk assessment.

PPE guidance for Home Care (Domiciliary Care)

COVID-19: How to Work Safely in Domiciliary Care 

The COVID-19: How to Work Safely in Domiciliary Care on determining the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to use, is regularly updated. This link will always go straight to the most up-to-date version of the guidance. 

This resource is primarily for care workers and providers delivering care in the following settings:

  • visiting homecare
  • extra care housing
  • live-in homecare

Updates reflect the current COVID-19 situation in England, the latest scientific evidence at this stage of the pandemic and stakeholder and user feedback.

Recent key changes are stated at the top of the guidance, as follows:

18 May 2021

Added note explaining that the infographics are being reviewed and will be updated shortly in line with the guidance.

6 April 2021

Introduced recommendations to change PPE after each episode of personal care, and new recommendations around use of eye protection when delivering personal care within 2 metres. Guidance provided in HTML format only.

Respiratory mask fit testing

During periods of sustained transmission, Public Health England (PHE) recommend the use of respiratory protective equipment when undertaking any aerosol generating procedure (AGPs) regardless of symptoms or suspicion of COVID-19. The country remains in a period of sustained transmission. FFP3 or P3 respirators are recommended for use as respiratory protective equipment during aerosol generating procedures and require a fit test prior to use.

What do I need to know about fit testing for FFP3 (and FFP2/N95), Respiratory Protective Equipment?

It is the employer’s responsibility under Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 that staff required to wear disposable FFP3 (or reusable P3 respirators) should have access to them. Fit testing is a method for checking that a specific model and size of tight-fitting facepiece matches the wearer’s facial features and seals adequately to the wearer’s face. It will also help to identify unsuitable facepieces which should not be used. Staff must understand how to create and check the seal every time it is worn.

How to book a mask fit

East Sussex County Council have a service level agreement with East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to provide Respiratory FFP3 mask fit testing. To make an appointment either email: esht.maskfiteastbourne@nhs.net or call 01323 417 400 (ext 4715).

National PPE guidance