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GMB Guidance on PPE

Dear Members

GMB LAS Union has continued to raise issues on behalf of our dedicated hard working staff to the management of the London Ambulance NHS Trust on providing adequate PPE for all patient facing rolls.

with our members feedback and support we have been able to get changes made to the ppe guidance

The key points

When faced with patient and public contact during the course of their work, clinicians make a risk assessment in each contact situation. This should be in the form of an initial assessment, at a safe distance, utilising all the available information including that from EOC / 111 to assess whether the patient has symptoms consistent with Coronavirus.

 For cardiac arrest:

Clinicians will wear a minimum of FFP3 mask and gown or Tyvek suit to all patient resuscitations. The first clinician on scene should don an FFP3 mask and gown to allow rapid attendance at the patients side to undertake defibrillation if needed and continue chest compressions. If no gown and /or FFP3 is available an apron and / or surgical mask should be worn and then the clinician withdraw to don an FFP3 mask and Tyvek suit at an appropriate point.  It means all three clinicians will be able to work together throughout the resuscitation.

Non Cardiac Arrest:

Given the Community spread of Coronavirus PPE needs to be used in line with the PHE guidance. This means, for every patient we have direct contact with, we should wear a surgical face mask, apron, double gloves and eye protection (risk assessed). If however, the initial risk assessment suggests that the patient is at high risk of being infected with Covid-19 (eg confirmed cases or symptoms of a high fever and / or cough) and the attending clinician will require contact with the patient within 1 meter for more than 15 minutes continuously, then consideration may be given to the attending clinician using a gown or Tyvek suit in place of the apron.

Clinicians are asked to consider, where safe, to use the minimum protection they deem necessary (if any) to best protect our resources.By making these recommendations we are relying on the professionalism of our clinicians to choose the correct PPE for each patient contact in order to protect our supplies for the weeks to come and ensure we maintain safety for all clinicians throughout the Pandemic.


Clinicians who are not fit tested for the FFP3 masks, or who have failed fit testing, should not make close patient contact and request a suitable replacement resource if on scene. Those clinicians who are not fit tested should ensure they attend to be fit tested as soon as possible or consider discussing alternative duties with their line manager. Those clinicians who have failed fit testing should discuss options with their line manager

Where clinicians reasonably believe their uniform to have been contaminated during close contact with a patient or person suspected to be infected with Covid-19 due to using insufficient PPE, should return to station as soon as safe to do so, decontaminate and replace the contaminated items with clean ones. This may require clinicians to be prepared to attend work with an increased level of spare uniform and suitable toiletries.

today 03/04/2020 GMB LAS Union got agreement that 

FRSM surgical face masks should be single use only

LAS to order 2500 goggles are on order

shoe covers are available

LAS to order surgical head covers as some tyvex suits don’t have hoods

GMB LAS Union is pleased that working in partnership with the LAS we have managed to get our staff protected against this virus.

stay safe and well

if you are reading this and not a member of the largest union in the ambulance sector join today and make a difference www.GMB.ORG.UK/Join


kind regards

GMB LAS Union Branch



Posted: 3rd April 2020

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