Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for personal assistants

Advice for social care personal assistants on how to access and use PPE.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for personal assistants
Advice for PAs living in the same household as the person they support

Advice for PAs living in the same household as the person they support

Neither I nor the person I support have any symptoms of COVID-19

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. No additional PPE for COVID-19 is required unless you or the person you support is in the shielding category or symptomatic of COVID-19 . See the sections below.

The person I support is within the shielding category (extremely high risk group)

Follow the general advice.

Familiarise yourself with the shielding advice on NHS inform and help the person you care for adhere to shielding 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 also wear a face mask for the period of time you are caring for your employer. 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. The face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable.

PPE can be disposed of in the normal household waste bin immediately after use provided the person you are caring for has no symptoms of COVID-19.

I (personal assistant) am in the shielding category (extremely high risk group)

Follow the general advice.

Follow the shielding advice on NHS inform.

If the person you support develops symptoms of COVID-19 you should seek to make alternative arrangements for their care and ensure you avoid all contact with them. If you are unable to provide essential care for someone, you should contact your local social work department.

Where you are providing personal care you must:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide
  • wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your employer. This is to protect you and is only necessary when providing personal care because it is assumed you will be in very close contact (within 2 metres) with your employer and unable to keep a safe distance. 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. The face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable
  • dispose of PPE in the normal household waste immediately after use provided the person you are caring for has no symptoms of COVID-19

The person I support has symptoms of COVID-19

Follow the general advice.

Also follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform.

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
  • wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your employer. 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. The face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable
  • place PPE in a disposable bag once removed, and then a secondary disposable bag. It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household waste bin for collection

I (personal assistant) have symptoms of COVID-19

If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 but the person you support has no symptoms, you should not provide direct care and seek to make alternative arrangements to support your employer. You should try to stay 2 metres distance from them as much as possible and follow guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform

If the person you support also has symptoms of COVID-19, you can continue to provide provided you feel well enough to do so OR where you are unable to make alternative care arrangements you must:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of support you provide
  • you should also wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your employer. 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 once removed and then a secondary disposable bag. It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household waste bin for collection

If you work for more than one employer

Follow the advice: clinical guidance for the management of clients accessing care at home, housing support and sheltered housing