Official statement regarding PPE

Official Fosse Healthcare statement regarding PPE

For the duration of this pandemic at least, all staff will be required to follow the official Government approved guidance provided by the Department of Health, which can be found here.

This guidance states which PPE must be worn for each situation and we expect all of our care staff to follow these guidelines as a bare minimum for each visit and before entering the property of the client.

However, we also expect our staff to use their own judgement, experience and training to assess the risks on a visit by visit basis, as no client or situation is the same. We ask that they please consider the work they are doing, and the contact they will have with our clients and how they might be feeling.

Support to our care workers is provided through their local branch, as well as the COVID-19 section of our website, but also through the dedicated mailbox: coronavirus@fossehealthcare.co.uk


Stock of PPE

All of our branches are provided with adequate PPE and are stocked up for at least 4 weeks ahead; we centrally procure and manage our PPE so we always have an accurate view of residual stock.  All care staff have access to this PPE through a system which monitors the usage person by person.  Care workers can either pick-up the PPE stock they need from their local branch or we can deliver it to them upon request. 

We ask our care staff to consider what PPE they need for the clients they deliver care to, and to engage with their local branch with plenty of notice when additional PPE stock is required. Our care staff should consider every eventuality by having enough PPE with them to last if something unexpected does happen, such as a client becoming symptomatic.

Our monitoring system has been put in place for the safety of our staff to ensure all care workers have access to the PPE they need. All staff have full access to our PPE stock for their safety and the safety of our clients, but as PPE is a critical resource and stocks nationally are challenging, anyone using excessive amounts of PPE without a valid reason could be putting themselves and their colleagues at risk of PPE shortages.


Local Authority Guidelines

Whilst as a business we are working to the guidelines of the Department of Health, it is important to understand that some local authorities have provided their own interpretation on the Department of Health guidance. Where that’s the case we will ensure the impacted care workers are aware and appropriately trained.

We are working closely with all local authorities to ensure our staff comply with this, but we highly recommend that all staff check in with their branches regularly should they have any queries so as to ensure they are using the correct PPE and have enough stock with them to comply with these guidelines.


Reusing PPE

The Department of Health guidelines, found via the link above, provide further context around reusing PPE in the event of a PPE shortage. Please note that we feel we have sufficient PPE stock and therefore don’t see a need to reuse PPE. We also feel a lot of the PPE items used by our care workers are not reusable anyway. 

Should we ever need to revisit our position we would do so with consent from the Department of Health and Local Authorities.


Disposing of PPE

All PPE should be disposed in line with the Department of Health – see guidelines above.

Absolutely no PPE is to be discarded or littered carelessly as this could cause a danger to local residents, wildlife and the environment.


Testing

All social care staff are eligible for free testing when needed. If a member of staff feels they may require testing they should contact their local branch immediately. Care staff can also book their own test using the Gov.uk website.

This includes situations where a member of staff may have been in contact with a client who has later become symptomatic or confirmed, or if they have been in a property where another household member has become symptomatic or confirmed – both their own and that of a client.

The local branch will organize the necessary referrals to facilitate testing.

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