Due to the ongoing transmission of COVID-19 in the community, new PPE guidance has been released today (28.04.20) around the requirement to wear face masks at all times while in a care home. 

This guidance is for ALL care homes, whether or not they have residents with symptoms. 

Wearing face masks guidance

From today the following guidance applies in relation to face masks:

1. Always wear a face mask

You should wear a face mask whether the resident you are caring for has symptoms or not, and this is for all residents including those in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group and those diagnosed with COVID-19.

You should wear a face mask for all episodes of direct care, for example: assisting with getting in/out of bed, feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming, toileting, applying dressings etc. and or when unintended contact with residents is likely (e.g. when caring for residents with challenging behaviour).

You should wear a face mask when performing a task that requires you to be within 2 metres of resident(s) but no direct contact with resident(s) (i.e. no touching), this includes cleaning communal areas, writing documents within two metres of residents, undertaking social activities with residents.

2. Wear the same mask between residents

Face masks DO NOT need to be changed between residents. 

You can wear the same face mask between residents whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19. 

3. Replace when necessary

Face masks should be discarded and replaced and NOT be subject to continued use in any of the following circumstances: 

• If damaged 

• If soiled (e.g. with secretions, body fluids) 

• If damp 

• If uncomfortable 

• If difficult to breathe through

4. Wear your mask correctly

Wear your face mask across your mouth.

DO NOT wear your face mask dangling round your neck.

Only remove your face mask if you go for a break. Discard it in the appropriate waste facility and use a fresh one to continue your duties.

Avoid touching your face, continue to wash your hands as per Infection Prevention Guidance and use gloves and apron as required.

Your face mask should always be discarded at the end of each shift and thrown away.

More information

The new guidance in full detail can be found on gov.uk here

Remember to follow this guidance for all care homes, whether or not COVID-19 symptoms are present.

Our policy for you

We understand this is a difficult and stressful time, and we appreciate the incredible work you’re doing every day on the frontline of this crisis.

Florence is working to keep you, residents and care homes protected from the spread of infection. If you are unsure, please see our guidelines on what we are doing to help all Florence users, as well as see our policy for nurses and carers to follow during this time.

If you have any questions, please get in touch by calling your account manager on 020 3911 2555, or emailing us at [email protected]