17 April 2020
The government has released a Covid-19 PPE plan, which sets out how they intend to ensure that PPE reaches those organisations who need it.
It focuses on ensuring PPE (personal protective equipment) is available in health and care settings, and outlines the production and distribution routes the government is putting in place. The new PPE Guidance Hub brings together all existing government guidance on the issue.
The plan emphasises the need to take an evidence-based approach to the use of PPE in non-healthcare settings, and says that there “is very little scientific evidence of widespread benefit from PPE” outside of healthcare settings and a few specific areas like prisons, cleaning roles, and care of the deceased (which all have separate guidance).
We know that housing associations are struggling to secure PPE, particularly for frontline supported and sheltered housing roles, and for repairs and maintenance staff entering people’s homes. And we know that availability of PPE is important to staff and residents given the difficulties with enforcing social distancing in many situations.
We have raised this several times with MHCLG, and are continuing to do so. In particular, we are pressing that the cross-government PPE Board – set up to consider PPE requirements in non-healthcare settings – will consider the need for PPE in certain social housing settings, particularly supported and sheltered housing.