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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

ACSA has contacted the Department of Health requesting practical advice for providers, including what to do if they have difficulty accessing personal protective equipment such as masks. These issues are currently under consideration and ACSA will provide members with further updates as more information is shared.
 

 

UPDATE: 24 September
Regulation of Personal Protective Equipment and COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, there is increasing interest in understanding the regulation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that might be used for therapeutic purposes including face masks, gowns and gloves. The following guidance is designed to provide: an overview of how these products are regulated; Information for manufacturers of PPE to help meet regulatory obligations; Information about including a medical device on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG); and information for consumers of PPE, including healthcare professionals. For additional information relating to the regulation of face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, see Face masks and respirators that are regulated by the TGA. Read more

 

UPDATE: 22 June
A Guide to Buying P2 or Equivalent Respirators - Austalian Insitute of Occupational Hygienists

The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists has produced A Guide to Buying P2, or Equivalent, Respiratory Protection for use in the Australian and New Zealand Work Environment to provide support and guidance for businesses. The recent surge in demand has seen an influx of respiratory protective equipment from a range of overseas sources onto the Australian market. Identifying non-compliant or fake products currently presents a significant challenge and this Guide can help you verify if products comply with the appropriate standards. Read more 

 

UPDATE: 18 April
Wearing PPE in aged care - video

Alison McMillan, Australia's Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, demonstrates how and when to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for aged care workers. Watch the video

 

UPDATE: 9 April
New PPE Resource from the Department of Health

A new resource on when to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in aged care has been developed, and is a useful resource for workers in both residential care and in-home care settings. While the advice included in the flowchart references entering and exiting a room, the application for in-home care remains the same for entering and exiting a home. The flowchart is provided as a printable PDF which you can download here

 

UPDATE: 23 March
Excerpt from Protecting Older Australians - daily Department of Health COVID-19 newsletter

Aged care providers that require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must now email agedcarecovidppe@health.gov.au for all requests. Emails previously sent to the National Stockpile address don't need to be resent, and have been captured in this new, dedicated aged care process.

All requests will be triaged by the Department of Health with priority given to facilities, programs and carers where there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Requests can be made by residential care providers, CHSP providers and any workers providing support to people receiving aged care support living in the community.

The following information must be included in your email request:

  • The facility, program or service requiring PPE;
  • If you have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 at your facility, program or service;
  • Types and quantities of PPE required - please note, only masks are available at this stage and other PPE will be provided when available; and
  • Details of other suppliers you have attempted to source PPE stock from.

 

If your facility, program or service is experiencing an outbreak of influenza the above process applies.

The Department of Health will triage your request to determine priority and may be in contact with you for further information.

Once approved the request for supplies will be shared with the National Incident Room who will work with your State or Territory Government to distribute the supplies.

It is important to remember that if you do not have a confirmed case of COVID-19 within your facility, program or service you should expect delays in receiving your PPE due to the increase in demand.

Read the full Department of Health update here.

 

UPDATE: 17 March
Excerpt from Protecting Older Australians - daily Department of Health COVID-19 newsletter

It is important that you have the confidence to use your existing stock now in the knowledge that the Government will facilitate access to additional stocks should you be unable to source them or if you have a COVID-19 outbreak.

If you currently have no stocks, please email Stockpile.Ops@health.gov.au. You will be required to provide the details of your service and an explanation for the need. These supplies will then be provided via State and Territory governments on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

Aged Care / Institutions
The Australian Government will also be deploying masks to States and Territories to support its aged care workforce in the coming days. GPs visiting aged care facilities will also have access to masks through their local PHN. More information will follow shortly. 

Procedure for access to the Stockpile
The Department is triaging any urgent requests and is recommending additional deployments of Protective equipment from the Stockpile according to need. Please email Stockpile.Ops@health.gov.au to lodge your request.

 

UPDATE: 8 March
Government secures additional 54 million face masks to contain Coronavirus outbreak
The Morrison Government has secured an additional 54 million face masks to help protect medical professionals working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. A combination of surgical masks, P2 and N95 respirators have been secured for the National Medical Stockpile, which will be available for medical and aged care professionals to care for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Read more

 

The Department of Health has issued the following information relating to personal protective equipement (PPE):

  • Interim advice on non-inpatient care of persons with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19), including use of personal protective equipment. Read more
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) information on the use of surgical masks. Read more

 

 

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For more information, you can:

  • Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Visit the Department of Health website.
  • Contact ACSA's Member Support Line on 1300 877 855 or email memberadvice@acsa.asn.au.

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