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PPE guidance for staff

PPE stock update

We know many of our staff have concerns about an adequate supply of PPE. We want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to protect our staff.

HSE is seeking to manage prudently it’s PPE supplies in light of the global shortage of this essential equipment at a time of unprecedented demand

HSE has secured a continuous line of supply of PPE. The total value of the overarching agreement with a large Chinese supplier is in excess of €200m

Up to 5 batch orders will be delivered over the coming months. The first batch order valued at more than €30m will start to arrive next Sunday, 29 March. A total of 10 flights are planned to arrive between Sunday and Wednesday, 1 April. Further flights will continue to arrive after that to fulfill the first batch order. Batch orders will be delivered on an on-going basis.

The HSE has spent €60m on PPE since February to date. This is four times the average annual spend on PPE which is normally approx. €15m.

Guidance on using PPE

Personal protective equipment is valuable as an additional protection for patients and staff. It should only be used where it is likely to be beneficial as outlined in the HSE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance. It should not be used in other settings where it does not provide any benefit. The unnecessary use of PPE will deplete stocks and increases the risk that essential PPE will not be available to help protect you, your colleagues and patients when needed.

The HSE Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance will be monitored and may change as the coronavirus outbreak evolves.

HSE Guidance does not recommend using surgical facemasks in situations other than being within 1 metre of a patient with droplet transmitted infection including COVID-19.

Airborne precautions are only needed if an aerosol-generating procedure is being performed on a patient with suspected or confirmed coronavirus.

Video: COVID-19 Info-graphic guidance for healthcare works on when to use PPE

Download PowerPoint presentation of this infographic

Video: How to put on and take off personal protective equipment

Video: How to put on and take off personal protective equipment in an acute hospital

HSELand Education Modules

Two education modules on putting on and taking off PPE safely are available on HSELand

  • One is for staff in acute settings. Search ‘putting on and taking off PPE in acute healthcare settings’
  • The second is for staff in community settings. Search ‘putting on and taking off PPE in community healthcare settings’.

Complete the module most relevant to your workplace. There is a test at the end of each one. If you get an 80% pass rate, you will receive a certificate for successfully completing the module.

Guidance for healthcare professionals

Read guidance documents from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) including:

  • infection prevention and control guidance for coronavirus
  • advice for GPs on assessment and management of patients with suspected coronavirus infection

Page last reviewed: 20/03/2020
Next review due: 20/03/2023