To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of the adequacy of the Infection Prevention and Control guidance on the occasions when an FFP3 mask should be used by workers in the NHS; and whether that matter has been considered since the identification of the covid-19 variant designated VOC-202012/01.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
27 January 2021
The infection prevention and control guidance (IPC) covers all patient facing roles. Its implementation should be underpinned by risk assessments that take into consideration the patient, environment, procedure and task being undertaken by any member of health care staff. This will include personal protective equipment (PPE) and the use of FFP3 respirators and eye/face protection, with the risk assessments and use of the PPE determined at an organisational level. Updated IPC guidance was published on 21 January and is available on GOV.UK.
A peer review has been undertaken by an expert group of clinicians to assess the new variant strains. The evidence review has not identified a change in the mode of transmission between the variants and previous circulating strains of COVID-19, and therefore there are no changes to the recommendations set out in the IPC guidance at this stage.