This national intelligence report provides insight into a safety risk related to PPE requirements for care workers delivering homecare during the COVID-19 response.

Our national intelligence reports provide insight into current patient safety risks identified by HSIB. They include analysis and key information for consideration by relevant stakeholders to facilitate a response. When appropriate, our national intelligence reports include safety observations and safety actions.

National intelligence report summary

A safety risk was identified based on a referral to HSIB. The referral highlighted confusion around personal protective equipment (PPE) use requirements when visiting patients that were in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' category. The referral stated that some care workers did not use PPE when visiting their home during the COVID-19 response.

PPE Guidance

Each care sector requires specific PPE guidelines due to the wide range of scenarios in which PPE is used. As evidence emerges, it is important that any new considerations are incorporated into guidance that has already been issued. There is a risk that service providers will operate on the basis of older guidelines and might be unaware of newer considerations.

Report purpose

This report documents how concerns raised by HSIB were responded to by Public Health England, the body responsible for the development of guidelines for the appropriate use of PPE.

Safety action

On 13 May 2020, Public Health England withdrew the primary guidance for COVID-19 homecare provision and instead provided a link to the newer guidance on how to work safely in domiciliary care in England.

Download and read the report.

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