Personal protective equipment (PPE)
This page has information on the following:
The government’s overview of adult social care guidance on Coronavirus (Covid 19) provides quick links in its help with infection prevention and control section to the main sources of PPE guidance for the social care sector.
This includes summarised tables, Q&A, visual guides to donning and doffing of PPE to support infection control as well as a training video for donning and doffing (care homes only) in the following settings:
- care homes: how to work safely in care homes (includes video)
- home care: how to work safely in domiciliary care
In the Reporting an Outbreak section you can find a link to the national PPE hub which has a range of further relevant guidance, including:
- Covid-19: infection prevention and control (which includes posters on Facial Hair and FFP3 respirators, Best practice management of blood and body fluid spills and Routine decontamination of blood and body fluid spills)
- PPE for aerosol and non-aerosol generating procedures
- Covid-19: guidance for the care of the deceased
- Covid-19: cleaning on non-healthcare settings outside the home
We have produced the following local guidance which aims to summarise the national advice:
We also recommend that all care providers watch this YouTube video guide about putting on and removing PPE in a range of health and social care settings (non-AGP procedures) by Public Health England and NHS England.
On 11 December 2020, the Government issued Personal Protective Equipment for adult social care questions and answers (227 KB)
Please ensure that you review your current supplies of PPE and ensure they are sufficient to meet your changing needs, implemented through your normal supply chains, or through national supply routes outlined in the securing PPE and related supplies section of the Overview of adult social care guidance for Coronavirus, which are:
- the national on-line PPE portal (eligible providers can routinely access free PPE to meet the increased need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through the portal)
- National Supply Disruption Response (NSDR) - this can be used when a provider cannot get PPE from any other route and has run out or will do imminently. The NSDR helpline is available 24/7 at 0800 915 9964.
- PHE advice on alternative PPE options
Please note: some concerns have been raised by providers in the past about the authenticity of the email invitation to the government’s online PPE portal. If you're unsure of the source of such an email, please contact us for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency PPE supplies from Staffordshire County Council
We have a limited supply of PPE. To access this stock service providers must:
- have exhausted their own supply chain and national options (using the online portal) or they have experienced a sudden increase in requirements which cannot be met through these channels
- have staff who need to provide care to a person who has or is suspected of having Covid-19 or part of a self-isolating household or providing regular personal care during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK
From Monday 28 September, the distribution hubs are located in the following 8 area offices, where PPE can be collected from 10am – 4pm Mon- Friday as identified in our new PPE procedure effective from 28 September 2020 (316 KB) 28 September 2020:
- Cannock - Springvale, Walhouse Street,WS11 0DY, Telephone: 01543512333
- Burton - Area Service Office, The Grange, Grange Street, Burton, DE14 2ER, Telephone: 01283 239666
- Newcastle-under-Lyme - Castle House, Barracks Road, ST5 1BL Telephone: 01782 296290
- Lichfield - The Old House, Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, WS13 7SQ, Telephone: 01543 510100
- South Staffordshire - District Council Offices, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, WV8 1PX, Telephone: 01902 506150
- Stafford - Area Service Office, Floor 4, Stafford Borough Council Offices, Riverside, Stafford, ST16 3AQ, Telephone: 01785276800
- Staffordshire Moorlands - Biddulph Area Service Office, Town Hall, High Street, Biddulph, Stoke on Trent, ST8 6AR, Telephone: 01782297810
- Tamworth - Area Service Office, Marmion House, Lichfield Street, Tamworth, B79 7BZ, Telephone: 01827475555
Each hub will confirm the ID of requestor, provide PPE, complete a PPE Provision form and send it to email@example.com. Providers must ensure they wear a face covering when collecting PPE.
Providers unable to pick up local supplies from the distribution hubs or requiring larger amounts of PPE will be required to complete the attached PPE request form (Word; 495 KB) and to send directly to the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox
The Health and Safety at work PPE team will then:
- review the request form and clarify information as needed
- respond within 48 hours (excluding weekends and bank holidays)
- contact requester with pick up / delivery details and arrange for collection or delivery
Please note: An ongoing expectation is service providers must phone their local location to request access to an emergency supply of PPE and if agreed, arrange a collection time. PPE will not be issued without the prior telephone call.
Emergency PPE supply for providers located outside Staffordshire
Home care providers
We will issue emergency PPE supplies to be used for delivering services to Staffordshire service users only.
Care home providers
We will issue care homes in Staffordshire with emergency PPE supplies for all residents.
We will not supply PPE to care homes located out of the county with Staffordshire residents. In these instances, the care home should approach the local authority in the area that it is based.
Duraweld Face Visors - EPVS0143 - Latex Warning immediate action required issued 26 February 2021
Between 16 and 24 February 2021 stocks of this product which may contain latex in the product's headband were sent out in error.
Whilst these visors are safe to use for people who do not have a latex allergy, there has been some correspondence relating to the quality of the head band.
DHSC have taken the decision to immediately lock and quarantine this item with a view to collecting it from those sites affected. They are taking this action whilst they seek verification from the manufacturer as to the type of latex contained within the head band and have given assurance that there are sufficient stocks of alternative visors.
- Identify if you have any stocks of the affected product codes - Duraweld Face Visors EPVS0143
- Quarantine the product and contact DHSC by emailing email@example.com quoting reference Visor - Duraweld and confirming the volume of product held in order to facilitate collection.
Important Customer Notice - Immediate Action Required Alert issued 18 February 2021
Fang Tian FT-045A FFP3 masks Supplier: Polyco Healthline
Product Code: BWM541
DHSC have advised that this item may not meet their essential technical specification for FFP3 masks. They are investigating compliance with these standards and are also seeking to confirm the origin of manufacture.
They have taken immediate actions to stop any further distribution of the Fang Tian FT045A FFP3 masks at this time and will provide a further update once their investigations have concluded.
Please review your stocks of FFP3s and identify whether you have any of the Fang Tian FT-045A FFP3 masks. If you have, these should be immediately quarantined. You should also be advised that some of these masks may have been delivered in boxes with the product marked as FT-045.
DHSC are working with regional teams and providers to fit test staff to alternative models and provide them with alternative masks in the quantities needed. They have a good supply of other FFP3 masks. If you require further urgent fit testing support, please contact your regional fit test project manager. For the Midlands area this is:
Ash Ahmed, Project Manager
Telephone: 07900 90 82 82
If you have further questions about this issue, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Customer Alert - Nitri-Hand Non Sterile Examination Glove 12 February 2021
Product Codes: FTG813, FTG814, FTG815, FTE9936, FTE9940, FTE9941
DHSC have advised that this item may not meet the technical specifications set out as part of their essential technical specification for examination gloves. Whilst this is reviewed with the regulators and a response is requested from the supplier, DHSC have taken the decision to cease distribution of this item until the investigation is concluded. They ask that you check your stocks and immediately quarantine any of this product. Please be assured that there are sufficient stocks of alternative gloves whilst DHSC investigate this.
For those that have used these gloves, adherence to safe de-gloving and subsequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds ensures low residual risk irrespective of glove type worn.
Please inform the NHS Product Enquiries Team at email@example.com quoting Ref: Gloves Nitri-Hand and confirming the volume of product in stock.
They will then make arrangements for replacement of any required stock if urgent.
Urgent Product Alert: Blayco Face Visor Model PF-01 Latex Warning issued on 5 February 2021
We have received notification from DHSC (236KB) requesting you quarantine this stock and do not use the product with immediate effect please and DHSC will make arrangements to collect it from you. Although these visors are safe for use for people who do not have a latex allergy, the action being taken is due to inconsistent labelling of the product. In response to this:
- Please firstname.lastname@example.org to register any stock and its location. This will be collated and added to a collections programme.
- You can arrange for this to be collected by DHSC by contacting the NHS Product Enquiries Team on email@example.com quoting Ref: Recall Blayco PF-01 Visors and confirming the volume of product to be uplifted.
You can also find information on the following alerts on the Previous updates page:
- Flosteril non-sterile gowns (FLO-MED 8130) (11 August 2020)
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser - alert retraction (26 June 2020)
- Type IIR masks - Cardinal Health and Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (3 July 2020)
- Tiger Eye Protector (6 June 2020)
Local communities are donating a number of PPE items to providers, this includes items such as face masks, scrubs and visors.
Providers need to ensure any PPE donated meets the required standards before use, as per the national guidance - technical specifications for personal protective equipment.
PPE should be appropriately certified, for example looking for the CE mark on the item and packaging; some companies have exemption certified for the CE marks from the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and will have a letter to this effect.
PPE use in hospitals