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COVID-19 information for care providers: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


  1. Overview
  2. Training and support for infection control in care homes
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  4. Testing
  5. Financial support
  6. COVID-19 vaccine for care home staff

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - national guidance

PPE is an important part of infection control to help stop the spread of infection.

See Public Health England guidance on preventing and controlling infections and PPE guidance for those working in care homes.

Public Health England has published guidance on PPE for each care setting to outline what PPE should be used. We have highlighted some additional key links below:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - local guidance

We are working hard to help and support providers to source the PPE they need to follow national guidance.

We acknowledge that despite best efforts this may not always be possible.

To support your own policies and risk assessments, we are signposting you to options for minimising the risk of transmission where it is not possible to align your practice with national PPE guidance on surgical face masks:

Providing care to a possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases or people who are shielding

Single use Fluid-Repellent Surgical Masks (FRSM) must always be used when providing care for:

  • any member of any household where anyone in that household is a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case
  • any person who is in the extremely vulnerable group who is shielding

Providing care to someone who is not a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case or people who are shielding

Single use masks (FRSM) are still the first choice of PPE for all home care visits. In line with supplementary national guidance, where there are acute shortages of masks available then sessional use can be considered.

In this case, masks may be worn on home visits to other people, as long as these people are not possible or confirmed COVID-19 cases or shielding.

It is important to stress that: 

  • masks should be kept on where possible inbetween visits - if they are removed for any reason they must be disposed of appropriately
  • masks should be replaced if they become moist, damaged or visibly dirty
  • you wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitiser immediately if you touch or adjust the mask you are wearing
  • you wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitser gel before removing your mask at the end of the session and after removing and disposing the mask

Single-use disposable aprons and gloves should also be used for each home visit.

If you have any queries about PPE in domiciliary care please email

How to dispose of your surgical face mask

Masks should be disposed of appropriately after each visit:

  • Place in a disposable rubbish bag
  • Put this bag in another rubbish bag and tie securely
  • This should be left in the person's home, kept separate from other waste and be put aside for at least 72 hours before putting in the usual household waste bin
  • After removing and disposing of a mask, wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitiser gel

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies

Please follow the below steps to access PPE supplies to try and help you to work through any issues you may be having.

It is expected that you will have done steps 1 to 3 within the last 24 - 48 hours:

  1. Normal routine supply chain - Please try and get your PPE from your usual or alternative supplier or wholesaler
  2. Mutual aid - Get support from your local colleagues. This may be from existing networks that are already established by your organisations
  3. Register on the PPE portal - You should have received an invitation to register on the portal. The registration process includes email confirmation. Pleases check your junk mailbox if you do not receive the email
  4. Local Authority LRF Supplies - You must continue to provide the daily/weekly updates on PPE stock. We will then provide stock to you which you have been unable to get through the above three steps

Order limits

During this trial stage, you can order:

  • one combined pack which contains 50 IIR masks, 200 aprons and 400 gloves (200 pairs) per week or
  • individual items up to the limits included in a combined pack per week and
  • up to 50 Type II masks per week

These limits may change as we expand the portal rollout to more providers.

  1. Once an order is placed, deliveries take between 2 to 3 days
  2. You should continue to use existing suppliers for other vital equipment

If you have problems accessing the site or registering, please contact They are partnering with eBay to deliver this service.

If you have any queries please email

Next page: Testing

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