UNION

Health and Social Care: what PPE should I be provided with?

GMB is behind you to help make you and your colleagues safe

A guide to getting the correct PPE

This is a guide only and is based on Government guidelines. Do not use this guidance as a definitive guide to PPE. You and your job need to be properly risk assessed by a competent person to identify: 

  • How the job can be done safely; 

  • What control measures should be introduced; and 

  • What PPE should be provided 

You need to decide what you think is needed to make your job safe. GMB is behind you to help make you and your colleagues safe. 

Key Points for Members 

Up to 40% of those infected with Covid19 might not show symptoms – in a pandemic situation that means everyone should be treated as a ‘possible Covid19 case’.  

Advice on Covid19 

1) Work from Home if at all possible, especially if you or someone you live with are pregnant or have underlying health conditions.  

2) Stay 2m away from all colleagues and the public, on your way to and from work and at all times during work.  

3) If you can’t do either 1 or 2 your employer must provide put protective measures in place. Your risk of Covid19 depends on your work: take our quiz to find out what you need. 

4) Adhere to all infection control procedures at work including frequent rigorous hand washing. Time must be allowed for this. 

5) Ensure if you are in close proximity- less than 2 meters, to patients or residents going to and from hospital environments that they (the patient or resident) have been issued with a surgical mask if they can tolerate it. 

6) Ensure that you are not being called into any workplace meetings where you will be in a crowded room with others 

7) Ensure that all shared equipment is wiped down before and after use 

GMB Union recommend that all health and social care employers who are still operating during Covid19 follow this guide to protect your workers
 

Can staff work from home?

Yes

Send them home

No

Move to next question


Can staff stay at least 2m away from each other & the public at work, & when travelling to and from work?* 

*Such as receptionists, and workers who do need access wards or patient/resident rooms 

Yes

Your staff need protection against Covid-19. Provide the following to all:

  • Double disposable plastic gloves 
  • A disposable plastic apron 
  • Washing facilities with soap 
  • Provide staff with masks and the choice to wear them

Because you’re not at home you and all your staff are at risk of contracting Covid19. This virus is killing people and there is no cure against it. The primary way to mitigate this risk is to provide personal protective equipment.

In doing this you are protecting yourself, your colleagues, both your families and the NHS – ensure your employer provides you with the PPE you need. 

No

Your staff are in danger of Covid-19. Provide the following to all:

  • IIR Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FRSM).  
  • Double disposable plastic gloves 
  • A disposable plastic apron 
  • Washing facilities with soap

Because you’re not at home you and all your staff are at risk of contracting Covid19. This virus is killing people and there is no cure against it. The primary way to mitigate this risk is to provide personal protective equipment.

In doing this you are protecting yourself, your colleagues, both your families and the NHS – ensure your employer provides you with the PPE you need. 


What protection do I need against Covid19?

I’m a healthcare worker or I work in a healthcare setting

Role dependent: See updated healthcare guidance from Public Health England table below

I work within 2m of the public in a non-healthcare setting

Second Tier

I handle items the public have already handled & I CAN stay 2m away from everyone

Third tier

I can stay 2m away from all colleagues & the public at work and when travelling

No PPE


Updated Healthcare guidance from Public Health England 

Show table

This guidance is not GMB guidance – it is from Government. It’s therefore the minimum level of PPE required. Always get a risk assessment. Always go by what you think you need for your safety. 

Workplace or Role 

GOV GUIDANCE  

Aerosol Generating Procedures: Performing or being in the same place as Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs) are being performed is the most dangerous environment for workers. The risk of contracting Covid19 is highest here.  
For anyone working in this area in any capacity the highest level of PPE is needed. 

HIGHEST LEVEL 

Health and Social Workers in Higher risk acute inpatient care areas with possible or confirmed Covid19 

For anyone working in this area in any capacity the highest level of PPE is needed 

HIGHEST LEVEL 

Inpatient areas with possible Covid19 patients 

TIER 1 

Health and Social Workers in Emergency department and acute admission areas with possible or confirmed Covid19 

TIER 1 

Health and social care workers who transfer cases and other duties requiring close contact (Under 1m) of possible or confirmed Covid19 

TIER 1 

Operating theatres and operative procedures 

HIGHEST LEVEL 

Labour ward 

TIER 1(UNLESS AGP) 

Ambulance staff, paramedics and first responders 

TIER 1 

Primary care, ambulatory care and other non-emergency outpatient clinical settings (Under 2m) 

TIER 1 

Individual’s home or usual place of residence 

TIER 1 

Community care home, mental health and other overnight resident facilities 

TIER 1 

Pharmacy (under 2m) 

TIER 1 

nasopharyngeal SWABS 

TIER 1 

Care to vulnerable groups undergoing shielding 

TIER 1 


Levels of PPE

Highest Level

  • FFP3 Fit-tested respiration mask. 
  • Eye Protection. 
  • Double disposable gloves. 
  • Full disposable plastic suit. 
  • Washing facilities with soap. 
  • 2m social distancing. 

First Tier

  • IIR Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FRSM). 
  • Eye Protection. 
  • Disposable gloves. 
  • Disposable plastic apron. 
  • Washing facilities with soap. 
  • 2m social distancing. 

Second Tier 

  • Surgical Mask.  
  • Disposable gloves. 
  • Disposable plastic apron. 
  • Washing facilities with soap. 
  • 2m social distancing.

Third Tier 

  • Double disposable gloves. 
  • Disposable plastic apron. 
  • Washing facilities with soap. 
  • 2m social distancing. 

No PPE - Guidance

  • Washing facilities with soap. 
  • 2m social distancing. 
 
Join more than 600,000 people and become a GMB member today
Join Us!