Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care

Published: 27 Apr 2020
Last updated: 17 Sep 2020 - see all updates

Using PPE to help prevent the spread of the virus for people who visit or live with a friend/family and provide help with washing or dressing.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care
Advice for carers who do not live in the same household

Advice for carers who do not live in the same household

Neither I nor the person I care for have any COVID-19 symptoms

Follow the general advice.

Wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide. 

You should wear a face covering if you cannot maintain physical distancing while providing guide support to someone outwith your household. No additional PPE for COVID-19 is required unless the person you care for is symptomatic of COVID-19.

Shielding

Shielding was paused on 1 August 2020. Most people who have been shielding can follow general safety guidance. However it is important that they follow stringent physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Ideally someone in the same household group should provide care for your friend or family member. However, you can choose to provide care to someone outwith your household group.

You may want to take extra precautions to keep both you and the person you care for safe. This includes:

  • wearing a face covering when supporting them physically
  • maintaining physical distancing from other people
  • washing your hands often

The person I care for has COVID-19 symptoms

Follow the general advice and the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform. Anyone with symptoms should stay at home and self isolate.

Wherever possible, care should be provided by someone who lives in the same household as the symptomatic individual requiring care.

Where care cannot be provided by someone in the same household you should:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide. 
  • you should also wear a face mask and eye protection (visor) for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member. 
  • after you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask, eye protection (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more
  • your face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable
Place PPE in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag when removed.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

I (carer) have COVID-19 symptoms

You should not provide direct care if you develop symptoms of suspected COVID-19. You should seek to make alternative arrangements for care.

You should cease all visits to their household and follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform. You can contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements.

In an emergency, where alternative care cannot be provided by someone else you should:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would, depending on the type of care you provide
  • you should also wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member 
  • after you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more
  • your face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable
Place PPE in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag when removed.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

 


First published: 27 Apr 2020 Last updated: 17 Sep 2020 -