Flu 2020/21 - PPE
Flu Clinics and PPE
In August 2020, PHE published COVID-19: Guidance for the remobilisation of services within health and care settings Infection prevention and control recommendations. We would recommend that practices familiarise themselves with this document for all aspects of patient care. Within this guidance is a section on the administration measures for the care pathways and for Primary Care, in particular it tells us on page 14 that for vaccination/injection clinics: -
NB. In some clinical outpatient settings, such as vaccination/injection clinics, where contact with individuals is minimal, the need for single use PPE items for each encounter, for example, gloves and aprons is not necessary. Gloves and aprons are recommended when there is (anticipated) exposure to blood/body fluids or non-intact skin. Staff administering vaccinations/injections must apply hand hygiene between patients and wear a sessional facemask.
Therefore, staff administering the vaccine will not need to wear and change gloves and aprons for each patient. This will help maintain patient flow rates in flu vaccination clinics.
Nasal Flu Vaccine & PPE
We have received a few queries around what PPE should practices use when administering the nasal flu, please see below the key points from national guidance in relation to PPE/infection control:
- The child and all accompanying adults should be assessed as asymptomatic at the point of booking the appointment and again when they attend the practice. This ensures they are symptom free and not self-isolating because a member of their household has Covid-19 symptoms or has been diagnosed as Covid positive
- Children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons) are not required to wear a mask as per national guidance
- All parents/carers/support workers who maybe accompanying a child of any age, should be encouraged to wear a mask
- Immunisations/vaccinations clinics are identified as medium risk due to patients being assessed as asymptomatic (page 26 IPC national guidance)
- The national IPC guidance states that a sessional mask should be worn by all clinicians administering vaccinations/injections and must apply hand hygiene between each patient
- In line with national guidance gloves & aprons for vaccination/immunisation clinic’s are recommended as not necessary
- Any sneezing/nasal secretions from a child presents no more of a risk than an adult who may sneeze. In addition, all people who attend should have been assessed as asymptomatic
- School nurses are administering a significant number of nasal flu vaccines and will also be adhering to the national IPC guidance.
It will be for the practice/individual clinician to risk assess and agree how flu vaccination clinics are provided. We would suggest you need to take into consideration the information above along with the outcome of your risk assessment to inform your decision and you may wish to adapt your approach depending on this.
Practices should be signed up to the PPE portal.
The portal is no longer for the emergency top up of PPE it is now available to eligible health and social care providers which includes practices, to meet the extra need for PPE that has arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Practices should not use the portal to order PPE for non-COVID-19 requirements. You should get this through your normal channels.
Current limits for GPs to order from the PPE Portal are as follows:-
GPs with fewer than 5,000 patients can order up to (per week):
- 200 IIR masks
- 200 aprons
- 400 gloves (200 pairs)
- one bottle of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
- 100 visors
GPs with between 5,000 and 7,999 patients can order up to (per week):
- 400 IIR masks
- 400 aprons
- 800 gloves (400 pairs)
- 2 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
- 100 visors
GPs with between 8,000 and 10,999 patients can order up to (per week):
- 500 IIR masks
- 500 aprons
- 1,000 gloves (500 pairs)
- 4 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
- 100 visors
GPs with between 11,000 and 29,999 patients can order up to (per week):
- 1,100 IIR masks
- 1,100 aprons
- 2,200 gloves (1,100 pairs)
- 8 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
- 200 visors
GPs with 30,000 patients or more can order up to (per week):
- 4,000 IIR masks
- 3,000 aprons
- 6,000 gloves (3,000 pairs)
- 15 bottles of hand hygiene (usually 500ml)
- 200 visors