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Covid-19: Infection prevention and control responsibilities

The following is taken from infection prevention and control joint guidance by the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Health Protection Scotland, and Public Health England.

Staff uniforms

The appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will protect staff uniform from contamination in most circumstances. Healthcare facilities should provide changing rooms/areas where staff can change into uniforms on arrival at work.

Healthcare laundry services should be used to launder staff uniforms. If there is no laundry facility available, then uniforms should be transported home in a disposable plastic bag. This bag should be disposed of into the household waste stream.

Uniforms should be laundered:

  • separately from other household linen
  • in a load not more than half the machine capacity
  • at the maximum temperature the fabric can tolerate, then ironed or tumble-dried.

It is best practice to change into and out of uniforms at work and not wear them when travelling; this is based on public perception rather than evidence of an infection risk.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene must be performed immediately before every episode of direct patient care and after any activity or contact that potentially results in hands becoming contaminated, including the removal of personal protective equipment (PPE), equipment decontamination, and waste handling.

Download the WHO hand hygiene poster

Facial hair and FPP3 respirators

The joint guidance includes a useful pictogram showing different styles of beards and which are suitable or unsuitable when using FPP3 respirators. (See page 42 of the guidance.)

Decontamination of reusable non-invasive patient care equipment

See page 40 of the guidance.

e-LfH training

Courses in the e-Learning for Health coronavirus programme currently include:

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Personal protection equipment
  • Invasive ventilation
  • Essential guidance from the NHS, Government and WHO

Others are being added.

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