Unfortunately, the Government Guidelines do not give definitive advice about the PPE we should be wearing. We have consulted with the Government (BEIS) and their response was that the size, location and ventilation in the room may influence the requirement, as will the particular client.
With this in mind, these are our recommendations and if you choose not to follow these guidelines then please be prepared to record and justify your reasoning, should it be necessary.
The following quotes are in the government guidelines suggesting these could be the minimum requirement, although the wearing of a visor is dependent upon the period of time spent in close proximity to a person’s face, mouth and nose::
“VISOR: This should take the form of a clear visor that covers the face and provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking. Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. It should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.
GLOVES: Unless crucial for the treatment, change practices to avoid any potential skin to skin contact or use gloves where possible.”
However, we would suggest that in order to ensure safety for yourselves and your clients, that further PPE (i.e. apron and IIR mask) along with the client wearing a mask/face covering too, may be more appropriate in order to mitigate risk. We feel this provides better protection for yourself and clients, is aligned to medical advice and instils confidence in you from the client.
This is only our suggestion; it is not mandatory and is not required under Government guidelines. It will be a personal decision based on your own assessment of risk as to whether or not you follow this advice.
If you choose not to wear full PPE all the time, we strongly suggest that in the following circumstances that you reconsider in order to protect yourself and your clients:
If you are a mobile therapist
When the client is more vulnerable:
- Client over 70 yrs. old
- Asthmatic/lung conditions
- Heart condition
- Depleted immune system
When the client is exposed to Covid-19 in their employment:
The above advice is based upon consultation with government officials and you can find a copy of the guidelines here
- NHS or front-line worker
- A carer in a home care setting
- Someone shielding a vulnerable adult