Scenario / question
Why have we downgraded personal protective equipment (PPE) from FFP3 to surgical face mask? Is it because we have run out of supplies?
Nationally, as we are learning more about Covid-19, the advice is that we no longer have to wear FFP3 (respirator masks) or gowns unless we are performing an aerosol generating procedure eg suction, inducing sputum. The Trust is following national guidance in relation to the wearing of correct PPE.
While it is true that supplies are running low, this is not why we have moved from FFP3 to surgical masks for non-aerosol generating procedures. The Trust is also doing a daily SITREP where a stock check of current PPE supplies is being collated and how many days' worth of PPE we have in the Trust. In addition, supplies continue to be ordered.
Further supplies are also been send from central
government pandemic stores.
Why am I seeing pictures on the TV of everyone wearing FFP3 and Haztab and we're not?
Please see response to question above. The only staff who are now required to wear FFP3 are staff undertaking aerosol generating procedure. Also staff who are caring for patients with Covid-19 in Intensive Care Units are constantly involved in aerosol generating procedures and stay in the isolation room for prolonged periods of time, caring for a patient with Covid-19.
Why is that we don't screen a patient on the ward if they have suspected Covid-19?
There is strict criteria from Public Health England (PHE) about which patients should be swabbed for Covid-19. If they do not meet the criteria outlined below, then PHE will not process the swab:
patient requiring admission to hospital (a hospital practitioner has decided that admission to hospital is required with an expectation that the patient will need to stay at least one night)
have either clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia
acute respiratory distress syndrome
influenza like illness (fever ≥37.8°C and at least one of the following respiratory symptoms, which must be of acute onset: persistent cough (with or without sputum), hoarseness, nasal discharge or congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, wheezing, sneezing)
Note: Clinicians should consider testing inpatients with new respiratory symptoms or fever without another cause or worsening of a pre-existing respiratory condition.
However the guidance may change; therefore please see latest guidance.
More than one patient on the ward may have symptoms. Why are we not swabbing everyone on the ward?
Please see answer to Q4 above. However if the Infection prevention and Control Team think this may be an outbreak of suspected Covid-19 then they will follow the Outbreak Management Policy and advice and arrange swabbing as required.
Where does the Trust get personal protective equipment (PPE) from?
Please order via Procurement. Although the trust has supplies of PPE, like many other trusts we are experiencing difficulty obtaining further supplies. This is being monitored daily. Therefore please follow PPE guidance in the use of PPE and use correctly.
We are also in process of setting up a central stock
coordinating system via Procurement to support staff with ordering. Staff will be
updated re this process once further information is available. Therefore please
follow PPE guidance in the use of PPE and use correctly.
How am I supposed to clean my hands if I have run out of alcohol gel?
You can also order hand and face wipes. Although the trust has some supplies of alcohol gel, like many other trusts we are experiencing difficulty obtaining further supplies. This is being monitored daily. Also please ensure that any additional alcohol gel in your area is stored safely.
Why are the domestic teams not informed about suspected cases before going onto wards?
All domestics should be informed of a suspected case if they are asked to clean a room where a service user is suspected to have Covid-19 or there is a confirmed case of Covid-19. In the event of a suspected outbreak our Infection Prevention and Control Team will be informed and will liaise with your Domestic Service Manager as per the Trust's Outbreak Management Policy.
I asked the ward for a mask as all the other staff were using them but I was refused one as there is not enough to go round
If a domestic is required to clean a room with a suspected/confirmed Covid-19 patient, a risk assessment will be undertaken. However domestics are not required to wear a mask to clean a room. If a mask is required and none are available, please inform your Domestic Services Manager.
Should I be coming into work in my everyday clothes, getting changed into my uniform when I get to work, and then changing back before I leave?
If correct personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn then there is no issue with wearing everyday clothes to work, then changing to go home at the end of your shift.
When wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) do we need glasses?
Glasses are not recommended for cleaning as Covid-19 is not airborne. However if there was any risk of splashing of fluid into eyes, eye protection such as visors should be worn.
What should I do if a member of staff has
stubble or a beard and cannot wear the appropriate personal protective
equipment (PPE) face mask?
Staff should be clean shaven to ensure the PPE face mask fits
appropriately to provide full protection.
If you are unable to be clean shaven for religious reasons,
consideration will be given to the use of alternatives under the Equality Act
Other refusals may be considered as refusing a reasonable management
instruction to protect staff and the wider public and disciplinary action could
A member of staff does not follow coronavirus hygiene rules.
All staff are required to follow reasonable management
All staff are required to follow Public
Health England’s guidance. Where this is not followed,
disciplinary action may be considered.