Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.
Apron and gloves to assist with dressing and washing?
We are a registered care home for adult placement and can I ask if it is necessary to wear an apron and gloves if supporting residents to dress and wash when there is no evidence of incontinence on their bedding or their clothing?
Thank you for your question.
The reasons for wearing gloves and aprons is, of course, to prevent and control the spread of infection.
Regulation 12: Safe care and treatment Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 states that providers must prevent and control the spread of infection. Where the responsibility for care and treatment is shared, care planning must be timely to maintain people's health, safety and welfare.
The Department of Health has issued the Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance and every care provider must have a copy of this Code of Practice available for all staff to refer to.
Additionally, all new care staff are also expected during their first six months of employment to undertake and complete the Care Certificate and one of the 15 units in the Certificate is Infection Prevention and Control staff.
The point of wearing gloves and aprons is the prevention of cross infection as the care worker moves from service user to service user and also to protect the care worker.
There must be a policy and risk assessments in place if you decide not to use gloves and aprons, but this will be part of your wider policy and procedure on the prevention and control of infection.
If the care worker is working with more than one service user on a shift, then I would expect there to be protective aprons and gloves available and that they will be used and changed between service users.
You can read more about this on Page 23 of the Code of Practice.
If you have the QCS system then you will have in place their Infection Control Policy and Procedure.
I hope this is helpful.
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Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector.
Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.
Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.