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Advice relating to the USE of PPE in Current Climate

By DPF Admin15th April 2020May 19th, 2020Area Updates, Circulars, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

This message is being sent out to clarify the advice recently issued by the Force and has been written in conjunction with them and the Chief Officer Group.

We recognise that over the past week, conflicting advice has been forthcoming from many directions on which Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) our members should be issued with and how it should be used.

This is intended to clarify that and to assist officers in identifying when and how to use their equipment.

The most confusing point was in relation to ‘where close contact with the public is likely and social distancing not available and possible risk of infection exists’ and in plain English it initially stated masks and gloves must be worn and was then revised to state could be worn.

Clearly our priority is in relation to our officers safety and as a result of the hard work of the Federation and the Force you will have all been issued with the correct PPE for your roles: Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FRSM IIR), Gloves and Hand Sanitiser. Disposable Aprons and Eye Protection (glasses or goggles) should also be available to you at your Station.

Our advice on the use of this PPE is that, as per the medical advice we have received from Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), alongside that issued by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), officers should have PPE ‘readily available’ and capable of being donned quickly prior to, or upon entering, using the NDM to risk assess, each incident.

Below is the Foundation Document which gives the relevant advice, but in short you must have it [PPE] on your person and where you deem it necessary, where social distancing cannot be maintained or achieved and after you have used the NDM, you should utilise the mask and gloves before continuing.

The current PPE issued is not for use at incident involving major trauma or at CPR events.

Our advice to all officers is that if you are involved in dealing with an incident of that nature and you do not have a face-fitting mask (FFP2/3), which is the recommended PPE to deal with such, then you should call on the assistance of those that do.

We are in daily meetings with the Force to ensure that the provision of the correct advice and equipment continues, along with meetings with our counterparts in other Forces / Federations.

We and the Chief Officer Group are immensely proud of all that you are doing and we will continue to update you as and when new information is forthcoming.

In closing, you must have your PPE with you at all times, and where you deem it necessary, use it.

You do not have to use it, but if you believe it is necessary, then do so and ask for replacements when it is safe.

Eamon Keating                                                         Mitch Batt

National Chairman                                                   General Secretary

Defence Police Federation                                      Defence Police Federation



EXPLANATORY NOTE TO ACCOMPANY DOCUMENT: NPCC PPE Guidance – (8th April 2020) ‘Please read in conjunction with this document. This Guidance was based on HMG advice confirmed by Public Health England to policing on 8th April 2020’

The recommendation in all scenarios is officers have PPE readily available and as a minimum that this is a fluid resistant surgical mask (IIR) and gloves (non-latex). 

Operational scenarios

1. Staff working indoors with colleagues or suppliers should attempt to adhere to social distancing wherever possible. PHE has confirmed that the Government Guidance is that in this scenario the use of PPE is not required.

2. Double crewing: It is recommended that PPE (minimum of a fluid resistant surgical mask (IIR) and gloves (non-latex)) should be readily available for officers where it is necessary to deploy double-crewed patrols or in personnel carriers. 

3. General patrol: Forces should triage calls for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases to give prior warning re: PPE requirements. This is currently happening in most forces. Officers and staff should expect that they may need to don PPE quickly in some situations and take reasonable precautions to enable this. PPE should be ‘readily available’, for example on the officer’s person rather than in the back of the car. Officer safety is paramount in responding to situations but proper consideration should be given to ensure that PPE is not wasted. 

4. Entering premises: On entering premises where there is no prior information or suggestion that those present are suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 officers should have PPE ‘readily available’ capable of being donned quickly prior to, or upon, entering using the NDM to risk assess each incident. Officers should be aware that there is a the possibility that infected occupants do not know that they are infected.

5. In the circumstance where ‘close contact with the public is likely and social distancing is not available and possible risk of infection exists’ it is recommended that officer and staff wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (IIR) and gloves (non-latex). Furthermore that they conduct a risk assessment on use of a googles and an apron. 

6. In the circumstance where ‘close contact with the public is likely and social distancing not available and symptomatic’ it is recommended that officers and staff wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (IIR), gloves (non latex), disposable aprons, googles. Furthermore that they conduct a risk assessment on the use of a fluid-repellent cover-all/over-suit. 

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