FAQs – Infection control questions

Last updated: 25.03.2020

Q – When should we be wearing PPE?

A – Please follow the PPE guidance table on our COVID-19 pages.

 

Q – What hand hygiene facilities are available at the main hospital entrance?

A –Hand sanitiser is available at the main entrance to NDDH, and there are hand washing facilities in the nearby toilets. Please remember that washing hands with soap and water is best.

We are reviewing our hand sanitiser stock and prioritising due to where we anticipate demand to be when delivering patient care, and we ask you to support us with this.

 

Q – When we start to get lots of patients, putting on PPE will become quite labour intensive. Do you have any options for that?

A – We are looking at variations on PPE for cohorting areas, once we start to work in this way.

 

Q – What happens if I need to wear PPE for a long duration?

A – We know that this is not ideal for many reasons and are looking into this to find a workable solution.

 

Q – In my role I take paper documents and forms into patients’ bed space for things like audit. Should I be doing this still?

A – We have risk assessed this and we’re not putting any particular controls on paper, but would suggest documentation is minimised. Please make sure you practise good hand hygiene. You should not enter siderooms or other areas with infectious patients without the correct PPE.

This will change as the situation develops.

 

Q – When I’m swabbing someone for coronavirus, what infection control protection should I be wearing?

A – Swabbing is not an aerosol generating procedure. You should wear the protection needed in consideration of droplet transmission –guidance is on the COVID-19 pages.

 

Q – Is there a reluctance to swab people in hospital? Why are we not swabbing everyone?

A – We are following PHE guidance to identify those patients who should be swabbed. We are swabbing patients in ICU now and those presenting with pneumonia or flu-like illness. It is currently against national guidance to swab everyone. Swabbing patients who are not truly symptomatic can also give a false level of assurance. The infection control team and the Clinical Reference Group will be your guide for swabbing.

At the moment there is also an element of finite capacity of testing – however we have now set up our own testing at NDDH, which will permit testing of more samples.

 

Q – I’m entering clinical environments, what infection control protection is available to me?

A – PPE and hand sanitiser supplies are available in the key areas where it is needed. Guidance on what PPE you should be using and where is available on our COVID-19 pages and will be on posters in clinical environments soon.

We are keeping a close eye on stock to ensure we maintain our stock levels throughout this period. It is really important that we have the necessary equipment available to protect you at the point in time where this is most critical.

Please remember that washing hands with soap and water is one of the best things you can do.

 

Q – Do we need to be using moisture absorbing granules on the wards?

A – Fluid granules used to solidify excretia are currently only to be used for patients with potential or confirmed COVID-19. These cannot be too widely available because there is a risk of patients ingesting the granules, which can cause suffocation. Procurement and infection control are carefully managing this, and are tracking patients so that appropriate equipment can be issued as required.

 

Q – Will I be issued hand sanitiser?

A – Please remember that washing hands with soap and water is best. We are reviewing our stock and prioritising due to where we anticipate demand to be when delivering patient care, and we ask you to support us with this.

 

Q – I’m seeing patients face to face, will I get a face mask?

A – PPE and hand sanitiser supplies are available in the key areas where it is needed. Guidance on what PPE you should be using and where is available on our COVID-19 pages and on posters in clinical environments.

We are keeping a close eye on stock to ensure we maintain our stock levels throughout this period. It is really important that we have the necessary equipment available to protect you at the point in time where this is most critical.

Please remember that washing hands with soap and water is one of the best things you can do.

 

Q – Does everyone still need to be fit tested?

A – We are prioritising fit testing for staff who are most likely to undertake aerosol generating procedures, where staff are using ventilators, and in ED and the acute medical wards.

 

Q – What should I be doing with my uniform?

A – You should not wear your uniform to and from work, and we will be enforcing this more stringently. Please remember that this is also about protecting your household. When you bring your uniform home, you should be washing it as soon as possible at 60c (or the hottest it will stand up to).

We are looking at providing more changing facilities at NDDH.

 

Last updated: March 25, 2020