Firstly, a huge thank you for all your effort.
It has been quite a week, with the COVID-19 situation changing almost daily. Confirmed Coronavirus cases are rising throughout the country, and Lincolnshire is starting to see its share. At the time of writing the UK has just under 50,000 confirmed cases. Our teams are starting to see medically fit COVID-19 hospital discharges, and this is likely to increase. Teams have been nothing other than stoic and incredibly professional handing these.
Perhaps the biggest change has been in the PPE specification. There are 2 main changes, addressing non-COVID and COVID positive cases.
Non COVID cases
If anyone in a household is extremely vulnerable and requires shielding, a face mask should be used in addition to normal PPE – gloves and apron. Extremely vulnerable people have usually been contacted directly by the NHS.
For all other non-COVID cases, using a face mask is your decision. Continued use of a single mask (sessional use) is permitted, as long as the PPE is not damaged or dirty.
Despite our best efforts, we currently hold a very limited stock of face-masks, and a certain number of these are being held for current and future active COVID-19 cases. If you have requisitioned, or been allocated, a supply of masks please take care of them. We will re-supply as soon as we possibly can.
Additional FRSMs will always be available for active COVID cases.
Active COVID cases (confirmed or symptomatic)
You must use a Fluid Repellant Surgical Mask (FRSM) and eye protection, in addition to normal PPE. You will not be asked to carry out duties with an active COVID case without this equipment.
FRSMs are single use for COVID cases, and must be disposed of in accordance with current guidelines, along with all other single use PPE.
Eye protection is not single use and should be cleaned after use. At the moment we are able to ensure eye protection is available for all active COVID cases, and we are distributing to each person as quickly as we can get supply.
Health and Social Care is facing huge pressure across the country. We are fast approaching 2 weeks of social distancing, and rather than get easier, there is some talk about this getting even more stringent. You have done an amazing job. The mere fact that we are still out there helping, supporting, caring, in the face of so much uncertainty and disruption, is demonstration of the huge dedication, commitment and selflessness shown by every single person.