Our carers are following current advice from the Government, NHS and Care Quality Commission (CQC), and we encourage them to be vigilant in observing best practice in infection control and hygiene. We regularly reemphasise the following to our carers about Handwashing, Social Distancing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- This should be observed on arrival at a client’s house and on departure.
- Soap kills and removes the virus and other infectious agents (washing for a minimum of 20 seconds).
- Most effective method for preventing spread.
- Alcohol gel (>60%) can also be used –must let it dry.
Social distancing –2 metres
- Prevents coughs/sneezes from reaching others
- Certain care visits can be conducted with the carer observing social distancing.
- The majority of visits require contact between carer and care recipient and appropriate PPE must be worn
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
We are supporting our carers by ensuring they are informed of any changes in Government guidance on PPE and doing our utmost to make sure they have adequate stocks of Single-use Plastic aprons, fluid-resistant Surgical Masks (FRSM- IIR type) and Gloves. Reusable face shields or goggles should be used where they deem them necessary
We have adapted our guidelines for when carers meet a new client (or attend to a client they have not seen recently): carers should establish in advance whether care recipients are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group and whether they have any Covid-19 symptoms. This will allow them to determine the appropriate PPE to wear on arrival. If in doubt, they should maintain 2-metre social distancing while they gather more information.
Carers should be disposing of masks, aprons and gloves after each client. Single-use PPE should not be re-worn.
Cloth or homemade facemasks are not currently recommended.
Putting PPE on and taking it off should be done when 2 metres away from the client. In very small properties this may mean doing so on the porch/ doorstep.
Double bagging for the disposal of PPE should only be required for suspected/confirmed COVID cases. TrustonTap carers should change clothes immediately on arrival home – remove all re-useable coveralls, clothes etc., bag up and wash at 60 degrees.
If carers are supporting clients all day, they should follow guidance for care homes regarding sessional use of face masks. If possible, a ‘break out area’ should be identified where they can take breaks and be without their PPE. They should rehydrate regularly in between usage.