We are supporting the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum, which includes Hertfordshire County Council, in distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to people who need it, including unpaid family and friend carers. This comes as the Government has changed its guidance about the use of PPE. It is now recommending people in England wear PPE if they are providing care to someone they do not live with to protect themselves and the people they care for from the coronavirus.
If you’re an unpaid carer living in Hertfordshire and don't usually use PPE when providing care, we can help you with suitable PPE such as protective gloves, disposable face masks, aprons and face shields. What you need depends on the care you provide and how close you get to the person you support.
It is not currently recommended that you wear PPE when caring for someone you live with unless advised to by a healthcare professional. However, if you are worried because you or the person you care for is coming out of hospital with COVID-19 or at risk of it, please talk to someone at the hospital before discharge or get in touch with us at Carers in Hertfordshire.
Michèle Stokes, our Chief Executive, said: “Although we have been providing PPE to carers when they have asked for it or needed it, we are pleased the Government has extended free access to PPE to unpaid carers to help them and the people they support keep safe. We want to remind unpaid carers that we are there to support you throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. You can contact us for information or advice related to your caring role and join in our activities online, such as workshops and support groups.”
If you are an unpaid carer supporting someone who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol, and you would like any PPE please contact us. Call 01992 58 69 69 or email with ‘PPE for carers’ in the subject line and include your name, address and contact details.
You will be given guidance on how to use the PPE items correctly, although you can access information on the Government website at www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-how-to-work-safely-in-domiciliary-care. Unpaid carers are asked to follow the same PPE procedures recommended for domiciliary care workers.
For more information about the Government guidance around the coronavirus and use of PPE visit the Government website. There is guidance on the website for unpaid carers too at www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-providing-unpaid-care/guidance-for-those-who-provide-unpaid-care-to-friends-or-family
You can learn more about Hertfordshire County Council services, including updates in relation to the coronavirus, at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 404.