Personal protective equipment (PPE) – guidance, resources and FAQs

Find out what you need to do to remain safe while treating patients with Covid-19, and your rights and responsibilities.

National infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance

The English and Welsh governments have now removed the requirement for face masks in healthcare settings unless risk of splashing or known Covid infection.  This is the last covid measure to be removed so members should now follow national IPC guidance.

  • England
  • Wales 
  • Scotland - face mask use is likely to last until July, if we hear this changes sooner we will let members know.)
  • Northern Ireland - face masks are still encouraged in most settings 

In England and Wales if you wish to still have a policy in place due to your own risk assessment to ask for patients and staff to wear face masks you can as long as it is a blanket policy for all.

Where do my obligations to maintain HCPC standards fit in with IPC guidance?

Ethical framework, standard 6 – Identify and manage risk

  • 6.1 You must take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm to service users, carers and colleagues as far as possible.
  • 6.2 You must not do anything or allow someone else to do anything that could put the health or safety of a service user, carer or colleague at unacceptable risk.

Proficiency for physiotherapists, standard 15 – Understand the need to establish and maintain a safe environment.

  • 15.1 Understand the need to maintain the safety of both service users and those involved in their care.
  • 15.3 Be aware of applicable health and safety legislation, and any relevant safety policies and procedures in force at the workplace, such as incident reporting and be able to act in accordance with these.
  • 15.4 Be able to work safely including being able to select appropriate hazard control and risk management, reduction or elimination techniques in a safe manner and in accordance with health and safety legislation.
  • 15.6 Be able to establish safe environments for practice that minimise risk to service users, those treating them, and others, including the use of hazard control and particularly infection control.

The HCPC standards mentioned above should inform your reasoning when taken in conjunction with your screening and risk assessment, prior to deciding how best to offer treatment based on your patient’s clinical need.

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