PPE updated guidance- HFH Healthcare
First, I want to say a big thank you to you, your households and your Carers households for the way in which you are working with us to follow government and Public Health England guidance on infection prevention and control:
- Good hand washing, hygiene
- Cleanliness and waste disposal
- Social distancing, Self-isolation & Shielding
- And appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment
IMPORTANT new guidance for PPE with your client
Guidance from Public Health England continues to be revised.
- Although all our clients have been self-isolating and shielding for several weeks, the advice from Public Health England is that all home care Carers should be provided with fluid resistant masks when delivering care
- It has also been identified that all people who have aerosol generating procedures – i.e. Thracheostomise, trache-vents, non-invasive ventilation, cough assist, oral suction and nebulisers - have increased potential of passing on COVID-19 to care staff prior to displaying symptoms.
- We are therefore introducing face masks for all carers in clients homes, in some clinically risk assessed cases we are also providing eye protection visors and , and in some cases a different type of face mask.
This new guidance is designed to protect Carers from the risk of infection should you develop COVID-19. Providing your household and your Carers have been following our guidance on good hygiene and self-isolation for the last 7 weeks, and continue to do so, the risk of you having COVID-19 is extremely low.
Your Carers need to wear this PPE whilst in your household and take off when they leave:
Different types of masks:
- Fluid resistant masks:
These are the types of masks which we already introduced for Carers working with our very vulnerable clients and those with aerosol generating procedures a few weeks ago.
When worn by your Carer we are advised they provide a level of protection for both carer and client within 2 metres of each other for periods greater than 15 minutes.
The masks should be used by Carers for 4-6 hours and then discarded and replaced with a new one, unless damaged, then it must be changed immediately.
We have now been advised to provide these masks for Carers working with all clients, except for the group identified below, for whom we are providing specialist masks.
If your Carers have not used these masks before and you are interested in the guidance they have been given, please watch this video link to see how to put on and remove the mask safely https://youtu.be/PwYapjQUVmo.
2. Disposable Respirator Masks
This type of mask is designed to reduce the risk of the Carer breathing in aerosol generated particles which may carry infection (including COVID-19).
We are providing these masks for carers working with clients who have been clinically risk assessed as likely to produce the greatest number of particles and therefore present the greatest risk of passing on the infection, should they have it.
For it to work effectively your Carer must make sure they are fitting the mask properly when putting it on, and disposing of it properly when removes. It is also important that when your Carer removes their mask to eat or drink they do this very carefully and store it in a sealed bag (provided) until they put it on again. We have provided our Carers with guidance on how to do this and our Nurse Case Managers are also following up with your Carers.
The mask is more durable than the fluid resistant masks and should be used for one shift and then discarded. If damaged it should be replaced immediately.
We are providing all Carers who work with clients with aerosol generating procedures with reusable eye protection visors.
- The visor should be used for the whole of the shift.
- At the end of the shift, they must clean the visor thoroughly on both the inside and the outside with paper towel with washing up detergent and warm water, rinse and leave to dry. This should be reused on your next shift.
Bare below the elbows:
As is normal practice, our Carers need to make sure their clothing whilst in your home means means they are bare below the elbows so that they can thoroughly wash their forearms as well as their hands before and after direct care.
Change of clothes:
- We have already advised our Carers to change their clothes on arrival at your home.
- We are now advising that Carers should also change back into the clothes they wore to travel to you client at the end of their shift.
- Wear a disposable apron at all times for direct care
We are providing information about these changes to your Carers, and their Nurse Case Manager is also discussing with them.
If have any questions or concerns, please your Nurse Case Manager or our Clinical Governance Team.
I realise this is a significant change in guidance and I thank you for working with us to ensure we are following the latest national guidance to keep you and your Carers as safe as possible.
Thank you for your continued support.
I hope you have a good bank holiday weekend.
Quality and Governance Team on behalf of Paula Friend Managing Director