The following are frequently asked questions on personal protective equipment (PPE) for universities.
Who is responsible for the provision of PPE for students?
- Placements - Council of Deans advises that students on placement MUST be provided with suitable PPE by the placement provider
- University setting - the responsibility of the university
What type of PPE should be used when teaching practical skills?
Please see our guidance on PPE, which will inform your risks assessments for practical teaching.
The National IPC Covid-19: infection prevention and control guidance was updated on 21 August. It recommends the use of triage to stratify patients into low-, medium- and high-risk categories for Covid-19, and your choice of PPE is related to these categories. Please note that this guidance is for the health sector.
More detailed information can be found via the government guidance on COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) for health and social care workers.
In addition there is specific guidance for HEIs and the education sector.
On 15th October, government guidance was updated to note ""within teaching environments, HE providers should comply with the guidance on social distancing. Where practical work requires close contact (for example, medicine, dentistry, nursing), use of face coverings or other protection should be in line with the relevant professional environment."
The links to documents are provided as guidance may alter – this is the best way to ensure information is as up to date as possible.
Each HEI will need to carefully scrutinise the clinical skills and simulation scheduled and risk assess as to which PPE they feel is required.
A summary table is provided for information purposes and is taken from the health sector guidance.
|Item of PPE||Indication||Examples in practice||Notes|
|Apron||To protect uniform / clothes when working within 2 metres of patients||Likely to be used in most cases||Single use|
|Gowns or coveralls|
To protect uniform / clothes when working within 2 metres of patients and;
|Risk assess||Changed between patients unless sessional use is advised|
|Eye or face protection|
To protect eyes and face from splashes of body fluids / blood
|FRSM||Well-fitting / cover nose and mouth|
|Surgical type mask||For extended use by healthcare workers in hospital or care setting||Risk assess if adequate e.g. no splashing risk|
- Risk assessment of the practical activity - this will follow your usual practice however it will be informed by COVID-19 precautions.
- Risk assessments completed by each student
Teaching health care programmes have adopted the All Wales workforce risk assessment
NHS Employers website provides information on risk assessment for staff
Additional information and Questions and Answers for HSC Staff is available here on their website.
Occupational risk assessment guidance and tool for staff and managers published today: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on individual risk assessment for the workplace.