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

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

Neither I nor the person I care for 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 the person you care for is in the shielding category or either you or they are 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.

Ideally someone in the same household should provide care for your employer.

Where someone in the same household cannot provide care you should:

  • familiarise yourself with the shielding advice on NHS inform and help the person you support 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
  • 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
  • dispose of PPE in the normal household waste immediately after use provided the person you are supporting has no symptoms of COVID-19 

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

Follow the general advice.

Follow the shielding advice on NHS inform.

Where possible, you should seek to make alternative arrangements for care of your employer.

If the person you support develops symptoms of COVID-19 you must not care for them and seek to make alternative arrangements for care.

Where there are no 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 care you provide
  • wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing close 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 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. Your 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.

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

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.
  •  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 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.

I (PA) have symptoms of COVID-19

You should not provide direct care if you develop symptoms of suspected COVID-19 and seek to make alternative arrangements for the care of your employer. You should cease all visits to their household until 7 days after onset of symptoms and follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform.

Only in an emergency where alternative support 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 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 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

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