COVID-19: Updated PPE advice for pharmacy staff

03 Apr 2020

Revised guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health and social care workers has been issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, Public Health England, Public Health Wales, Public Health Agency Northern Ireland and Health Protection Scotland.

For staff working in community pharmacies, the guidance states that, if social distancing of 2 metres is maintained, there is no indication for PPE in a pharmacy setting. If social distancing is not maintained, sessional use of a fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical mask (FRSM) is recommended. Sessional use means that the mask does not need to be changed between each patient; instead it can be worn for a single ‘session’. A session is a period of time when the person is working in a specific environment, and ends when the person leaves that environment.

If PPE is required, it is important that it is used and disposed of correctly. Public Health England has produced two posters which provide a quick-reference guide to putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) PPE; a short video illustrating this is also available.

The full updated guidance on the use of PPE can be found here, and a quick reference table referring specifically to pharmacy teams can be found here (referred to as ‘Table 3’).

Please search for FAQs on PPE.