Keeping Safe During COVID-19

You will have seen a great many references to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) since the start of the pandemic. Here at Heroes Homecare in Reading & Wokingham we consider your health and that of your families and our staff to be of the greatest importance, particularly at this time, and are ensuring that our staff follow the strictest guidelines as detailed below.

Recommended PPE items

Disposable gloves

Single use to protect from contact with the body fluids and secretions.

Vinyl gloves are used which provide sufficient protection for the majority of duties in the care environment We take care to ensure that the correct size of glove is chosen according to the wearer’s hand size.

If there is a risk of gloves tearing, or the task requires a high level of dexterity, or requires an extended period of wear, then an alternative better fitting glove (for example, nitrile) is available.

If a change of gloves is required during a task because the glove is torn or punctured, then strictest hand hygiene is practiced after removal of the original gloves. Hands will be thoroughly dried to make the donning of new gloves easier and reduce the risk of gloves tearing before putting a clean pair on.

As a conscientious and professional Provider we the characteristics of the different gloves available for the duties the care workers are doing. This includes the gloves required in relation to cleaning products.

Disposable plastic apron

Disposable plastic aprons are required and supplied as standard. They are for single use only and are worn to protect from contact with body fluids and secretions.

Fluid-repellent (Type IIR) surgical mask

Fluid-repellent surgical masks (FRSMs) are required and supplied as standard. They can be used continuously while providing care, unless your carer needs to remove the mask from their face (for example, to drink, eat and take a break from duties).

Your carer can wear the same mask between different homecare visits (or visiting different people living in an extra care scheme) if it is safe to do so while travelling. This may be appropriate when travelling between households on foot or by car or by public transport if your carer does not need to take the mask off or lower it from their face, and providing it does not compromise their safety (for example, driving ability) in any way.

Your carer will not touch their face mask unless it is to put on or remove it. The mask is worn to protect you, your family, and the care worker, and can be used while caring for different clients regardless of their symptoms.

Your carer will remove and dispose of the mask if it becomes damaged, visibly soiled, damp, or uncomfortable to use. If removed, your carer would then need to use a new mask when they start their next homecare visit.

Eye protection

Eye protection is recommended for care of clients where there is risk of droplets or secretions from the client’s mouth, nose, lungs or from body fluids reaching the eyes (for example, caring for someone who is repeatedly coughing).

Use of eye protection is thoroughly discussed with the carer and you we ensure that each carer has access to eye protection (such as goggles or visors). Eye protection can be used continuously while providing care unless the carer needs to remove it from their face (for example, to take a break from duties). We do not recommend continued use of eye protection when driving or cycling.

If the carer has been provided with goggles or a visor that is reusable, they will be given instructions on how to clean and disinfect following the manufacturer’s instructions or local infection control policy how to store them between visits. If eye protection is labelled as for single use then it will be disposed of after removal.