To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the British Medical Association’s request for wider use of respiratory protective equipment, in high risk settings outside of those procedures designated as aerosol generating, to reduce the risk of infection among healthcare staff.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
27 January 2021
The safety of National Health Service and social care staff has always been our top priority and we continue to work round the clock to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect those on the frontline.
The PPE recommendations in the infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance are agreed by an expert group of clinicians and scientists from across all four nations of the United Kingdom, based on the latest clinical evidence and are kept under constant review. The latest edition was published on 21 January 2021.
The IPC guidance 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 PPE and the use of FFP3 respirators, as well as eye and face protection, with the risk assessments and use of the PPE determined at an organisational level. Emerging evidence and data on variant strains will be continually monitored and reviewed, and the guidance amended accordingly if needed.