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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Infection Prevention Control

Last updated 29/08/2023.

This page includes information and signposting to help adult social care providers with infection prevention and control (IPC). Unless it is otherwise specified, the guidance on this page relates to all care settings.

This page includes information on:

  • IPC contacts
  • PPE, including how to order supplies.
  • PPE warnings, safe use for PPE
  • IPC advice on staff movement, cleaning, waste management
  • Best practice resources and posters to use in care settings.

Quick links:

If you require clarification or have concerns about infection control, please escalate them to your Line Manager in the first instance.

Managers can also contact UKHSA for advice on 0300 303 8162 or email –

IPC teams

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Appropriate PPE should be worn by care workers in all settings, as well as visitors to residential settings, subject to a risk assessment. For further information, please refer to the PPE section within the COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care

For PPE to be effective, it is important to use it properly and follow instructions for putting it on (donning) and taking it off (doffing)

National Supply of PPE

Care workers and visitors to care homes do not routinely need to wear a face mask in care settings or when providing care in people’s own homes.

However, there are certain circumstances where it is recommended for staff and visitors to wear a face mask to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19. These are:

  • if a person being cared for is known or suspected to have COVID-19 (staff and visitors are recommended to wear a Type IIR fluid-repellent surgical mask)
  • if a COVID-19 outbreak has been identified within a care home
  • if a care recipient would prefer care workers or visitors to wear a mask while providing them with care

For further information please refer to COVID-19 supplement to the infection prevention and control resource for adult social care

Devon County Council have been made aware that Latex may be used in the manufacture of some face masks, as well as gloves. Latex can produce an allergic reaction in some individuals which can vary in severity from a runny nose and itchy /eyes to anaphylaxis.

Any product which contains a CE mark on the packaging and where latex has been used in the manufacture of that product will be labelled with the following symbol and/or appropriate warning on its packaging.

CE marked boxes of masks that do not contain this symbol and/or warnings on the packaging should not contain latex.

PPE and heat – Risk of heat stress

Wearing PPE in warm / hot environments increases the risk of heat stress on the person. This occurs when the body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Heat stress can cause heat exhaustion and lead to heat stroke if the person is unable to cool down.

Measures to control the temperature of clinical environments and enable staff to make behavioural adaptations to stay cool and well hydrated should be made. Staff may require more frequent breaks and the frequency of PPE changes may increase, with a resulting increase in demand.

You will find further information here

National Quality Assurance of PPE

Waste Management

In addition to standard precautions other waste management should be observed. For further information see here

Staff Movement

Care services are not normally required to limit staff movement between sites or services, however they may be asked to limit staff movement by the local Health Protection Team if, for example there is a high prevalence of COVID-19 locally, or the setting is experiencing an outbreak. Further information can be found here

Cleaning Resources

NHS England have released a set of informative cleaning resources for care homes and their staff, on the following topics:

Best Practice Posters

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