Information

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

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

This document is part of a collection


Advice for PAs who do not live in the same household as the person they support

Local protection guidance has been published which indicates which COVID-19 protection level applies in each local area. It also includes information on what you can and cannot do at each level.

At all of the protection levels, you can still go into another household to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. This can include providing emotional support for someone whose wellbeing is at risk, including for those who are isolated because of disability or a caring situation.

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

Follow the general advice.

Wear any 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 support. No additional PPE for COVID-19 is required unless either you or the person you care for  are symptomatic of COVID-19. See the sections below.

Shielding  

Further guidance on shielding is available.

The person I support has COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect

Contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements. You should not provide direct care if the person you care for develops symptoms of suspected COVID-19, if they are confirmed positive COVID-19 or if they have been asked to self-isolate by test and protect. You should seek to make alternative arrangements for care.

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

If after a risk assessment as to whether the visit is  an emergency, where alternative care cannot be provided by someone else you should:

  • Keep records for test and protect
  • Ensure vigilance with the general advice
  • wear any PPE such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide.
  •  wear a facemask and eye protection (visor) 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 facemask, eye protection (and any PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more.
  • Your facemask 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 outside household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.

I (PA) have COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or  have been asked to self-isolate by test and protect

Only in an emergency, where alternative support cannot be provided by someone else, can you provide care.

You should not provide direct care if you develop symptoms of suspected COVID-19, if you are confirmed positive COVID-19 or if you have been asked to self-isolate by test and protect. 

Contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements to support your employer.

You should cease all visits to their household  and follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform.

As a last resort where alternative support cannot be provided by someone else you should:

  • Ensure vigilance with 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 also wear a facemask 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 facemask (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 outside household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.

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

Use of face coverings

This advice is provided to ensure that you minimise the risk of spreading the virus when providing personal care.  You may choose or have to wear a facial covering at other times, for example, when shopping or travelling on public transport. This is in line with general government advice. Read more information on the situations in which you must wear a facial covering and what constitutes a facial covering.

Therefore, the wearing of facial coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of the other precautions.

 

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