New updated guidance from Public Health England (PHE) stops short of recommending GPs use PPE for all patient contacts, although it suggests this may be necessary depending on ‘local risk assessment’.
The new guidance says primary care professionals should use PPE when coming within two metres of a possible or confirmed case of coronavirus (Covid-19).
This should include a fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical mask; plastic apron; eye protection; and gloves, PHE said.
The document says: ‘For primary care, ambulatory care and other non-emergency outpatient settings (including hospital outpatient clinics) plastic aprons, FRSMs, eye protection and gloves should be used for any direct care of possible and confirmed cases.’
But, recognising the ‘pandemic evolution’ of the virus spread, the guidance adds: ‘Such PPE may be indicated for work in such settings regardless of case status, subject to local risk assessment.’
It recommends that reception staff should keep two metres from patients, but where this is not practical, they should wear a fluid-resistant facemask.