The Scottish Academy has released a statement on revised national guidance on PPE. The guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England as official guidance and is hosted on the PHE website and the HPS website. It includes updated tables which explain the PPE required for different common clinical and care scenarios. The tables can be found here.
Speaking about the revised guidance, the Chair of the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties, Dr Miles Mack said:
‘Significant concerns have been raised by many health and social care staff in Scotland about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance and supply. The Scottish Academy has been coordinating our Members' views and working with Scottish Government to resolve them. We therefore welcome the revised national PPE guidance, which will provide reassurance to our Members that the PPE being used will protect them and the public from the risk of coronavirus transmission.
‘Front line healthcare workers will be reassured that in certain circumstances, some PPE – particularly masks and eye protection - can be safely worn for a full session. This is crucial as it could help to maintain supplies of certain PPE elements, prevent wastage and continue to provide protection. It is incumbent on government to ensure that the PPE distribution chain provides clinicians in all care settings with the equipment they need. Enough supplies must be provided and maintained.
‘And we know that surgical face masks were a big concern, too. The Scottish Academy is reassured that when providing care to any individuals in the vulnerable groups selected for ‘shielding’, the revised guidance states that secondary, primary and community care workers should wear surgical face masks.
‘Finally, the requirement that health organisations themselves undertake risk assessments, to ensure that they can provide the correct PPE, is also welcomed by the Scottish Academy. This is, in effect, a line of security which should help to reinforce staff safety.’