To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the (a) coverage and (b) fit of masks that are being supplied to front line key workers with beards.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether there is adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to fit the range of (a) female and (b) male sizes; what steps he is taking to ensure that all workers who require PPE have equipment that fits them properly; and if he will make a statement.
The United Kingdom Government and devolved administrations have published clear guidance on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for health and social care workers. It is critical that health and care workers make themselves aware of and follow these procedures, so they do not risk exposing themselves to Covid-19 as they remove PPE.
The National Medical Director and Chief Nursing Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to NHS Chief Executives, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors, emphasising the importance of proper fit testing of disposable sessional personal PPE face masks (such as FFP3 masks).
The Government published “Coronavirus (COVID-19): PPE plan” on 10 April. It incorporates guidance on who needs PPE and when they need it, routes to ensure those who need it can get it at the right time and sets out actions to secure enough PPE to last through the crisis. This can be found at the following link:
Health and Safety Executive have published guidance on fit testing including manual fit testing. In event of no fluid, staff should use the make and model of mask they have previously been fit tested for.
Lord Deighton, formerly Chief Executive of London 2012 Olympics, has been appointed to lead on our domestic efforts to increase the supply of PPE. Contracts have been signed for over 2 billion items of PPE through UK-based manufacturers, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons, ensuring we build and maintain a domestic base for the future. Both the MAKE team and NHS England are looking specifically at the gender appropriateness of PPE.