Personal protective equipment (PPE) for unpaid carers

Leeds City Council is taking part in a 2 month pilot with the Department of Health and Social Care to provide unpaid carers with PPE.  Unpaid carers are people who look after a relative or friend who otherwise couldn’t manage without their help. This may be because of illness, frailty, disability, a mental health need or an addiction.  Some unpaid carers will live with the person they care for, while other unpaid carers will live in a different household to the person they care for.

The pilot will help the Department of Health and Social Care to better understand likely demand from unpaid carers for PPE and how best to distribute it, as well as informing decisions as to whether the pilot continues beyond the initial two months. Unpaid carers will need to complete an order form and may need you to provide some help and advice in terms of what PPE they need.  Once the order form has been received, the unpaid carer will be contacted to discuss their order.  Delivery will then be within 72 hours. Unpaid carers will receive the PPE free of charge.

We would like you to help by identifying unpaid carers who would benefit from PPE and encouraging/supporting them to place an order.  PPE provided to the unpaid carer should be tailored to their needs and will depend on the type of care being provided and the amount of unpaid care they are providing.  For example a full set of PPE may need to be provided for tasks which involve personal care (where physical contact is required), or a mask where the unpaid carer does not come within 2m of the person being cared for.  The following guidance, which has been produced by Liverpool City Council, may be helpful, particularly when the unpaid carer lives in a separate household to the person they care for

If the person they are providing unpaid care for or anyone else in their home has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, they would have previously received a letter from the NHS or from their GP telling them this. They may have been advised to shield in the past. If the person has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable the unpaid carer will need to wear gloves, apron and a mask when visiting the home. For more information about shielding visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

If the person is not clinically extremely vulnerable establish whether the unpaid carer is able to maintain 2 metre social distancing while undertaking their caring role.

Examples of this would be caring roles such as providing shopping, food preparation and cleaning etc. If these roles are being undertaken the unpaid carer should be advised to ensure that the person they are caring for is in another room when they enter the home and remains 2 metres away having the door open in the room to chat to the person is fine they just need to ensure they are not trying to get past each other in confined areas where social distancing will not be possible.

If the person is not able to maintain 2 metre social distancing ask the unpaid carer to describe the types of caring tasks they are undertaking.

If the unpaid carer is undertaking tasks that require them to get within 2 metres of the person but does not require them to touch the person then follow the guidance for domiciliary care workers. Different PPE will be required for unpaid carers undertaking personal care compared to those who do not come into physical contact with the person being cared for, or if the person has a cough.

If you have identified an unpaid carer in Leeds who would benefit from free PPE, please send them the link below to access the application form.

Application form for PPE