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Alert COVID-19

Please find service updates and current visiting rules in our COVID-19 section.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Personal Protective Equipment

Information alert box Last updated: 22 July 2022

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, and you are a member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email

If your question is about an OUH HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you are a staff member and cannot access the intranet, please email and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Please see Face masks for further guidance on face masks for staff and face coverings for patients.


What is PPE?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment.

Before undertaking any procedure, staff should assess any likely exposure to blood and/or other body fluids, non-intact skin or mucous membranes and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects adequately against the risks associated with the procedure.

The documents at the links below advise when and what PPE you will need - these will only work if you have access to the Trust intranet:

Do patients have to wear PPE?

Patients with COVID-19 should be asked to wear a mask when being moved around the hospital.

Safe disposal of PPE

How should I dispose of PPE?

Some PPE - including disposable masks and gloves - has been disposed of inappropriately in general waste and recycling bins in our hospitals.

This is an infection prevention and control risk - please make sure that you dispose of PPE correctly by putting disposable equipment in clinical waste bins only before leaving a clinical area.

There are offensive waste bins near the exits for disposal of masks when you leave the hospitals. Clean your hands immediately after removing a mask.


How can I be fit tested for a mask?

If you are a member of staff required to wear a respirator (FFP3 mask) level 2 PPE, which includes a Force 8/10 Typhoon reusable mask and/or a disposable FFP3 mask, you must book in to have a fit test before you are next required to use an FFP3 mask.

Fit tests are provided on all four hospital sites.

Book an appointment for a fit test here.

Who do I contact for training in the use of Force 8 or 10 FFP3 masks?

Force 8/10 mask training has moved from the e-LMS system to the simple book system, so it is now in the same place as booking a fit test.

Book an appointment for a fit test here.

Staff wellbeing

I have a facial condition that makes it difficult for me to wear an FFP3 respirator mask - what should I do?

Please speak to your line manager who may be able to organise a hood for you to use or discuss alternatives.

I have facial skin damage from wearing PPE - what should I do?

An at-a-glance guide is now available to provide staff with consistent advice for the care of skin whilst wearing facial PPE.

Facial skin care guidance under PPE (pdf).

Contact Occupational Health for further advice.