Safely working in care homes update on 15th June 2020
As you may already have been notified, "Safely working in care homes" guidance has been updated on 15th June 2020.
Here is the summary for you.
- Title changed to "Personal protective equipment (PPE) - a resource for care workers working in care homes during sustained COVID-19 transmission in England.
- Previous tables have been replaced with just two scenarios for PPE usage.
- Additional section added for Learning Disability and Autism Services.
- Types and specification of surgical masks can be used.
PPE usage in care homes
Scenario 1 - Providing personal care in direct contact with the residents OR within 2 meters of any resident who is coughing.
Disposable gloves - Yes
Type IIR masks - Yes
Eye protection - Risk assessed.
Scenario 2 - When within 2 meters of a resident but not delivering personal care or needing to touch them, and no one within 2 meters has a cough.
Disposable gloves - No
Disposable plastic aprons - No
Type II Surgical Mask - Yes. (Please note Type II can be used instead of Type IIR - but it is always better to have Type IIR in stock as you can avoid confusion in using it).
Eye protection - No
PPE recommendation for Clinically vulnerable residents or shielding residents.
- Identify who your clinically vulnerable residents are. It is best to confirm this with your GP.
- Ideally, this resident should be staying in their room or flat to protect themselves.
- If they walk around the building - the implication is all your staff will have to wear masks, aprons and gloves all the time in the premises where these residents get exposed to. This measure is to avoid contaminating the surfaces that might be touched by the residents.
- Personal care - the mask has to be fluid repellant masks.
Important points to note:
- Visors should be reusable according to the manufacturer. Cleaned with disinfectant wipes and stored in a sealed bag.
- PPE recommendations for AGP can be accessed here. (Eg: Tracheostomy care).
- As per the guidance, you can wear the same masks between the residents if they are positive or negative. But we would recommend you not to do it as an additional precaution.
- The guidance is stated as 'advice' the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the safety of the residents and staff is with the employer.
- Staff not to use homemade masks.
- The guidance recommends not to wear oversleeves. We would recommend you to wear it when dealing with a COVID positive client.
- Create a risk assessment on the following - Shielding residents, PPE to be used when attending to individual residents. The idea is to make it clear to the staff what PPE should be used when attending each resident.
For further advice, speak to our expert care home consultant here.
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Detailed guidance can be found here.