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Personal protective equipment

Information on how to use and order personal protective equipment (PPE) for our employees.

You can also read about the supply arrangements for personal protective equipment in the private, voluntary and independent sector. Information on supply arrangements for schools and early years providers is available on Services for Schools (S4S).

PPE guidance

Our COVID-19 PPE guidance fully reflects what the government and our own risk assessments say is needed for working safely in delivering personal social care and for other workplace settings.

Please remember, even when wearing PPE, it is still very important to wash hands regularly and practice social distancing from colleagues, members of the public and clients when not carrying out personal care.

Our COVID-19 PPE guidance and handy quick guides summarise what PPE should be worn in different situations in each setting and are attached to this page:

  • PPE quick guide – adult and children’s social care
  • PPE quick guide – schools and early years
  • PPE quick guide – other settings

The COVID-19 guidance should be used in conjunction with local risk assessments. It also supplements existing health and safety guidance about PPE required while undertaking other specific types of work which should continue to be worn as normal.

Our employees also may meet workers from other sectors who wear different PPE for their usual day-to-day work. This is normal and is not a cause for concern. The PPE we provide is appropriate to the specific work we do in each setting.

Aerosol generating procedures (AGPs)

Some employees work with clients requiring an aerosol generating procedure (AGP). As an AGP is a medical procedure that can release airborne particles (aerosols) increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, employees working in the vicinity of AGPs may need to wear an FFP3 face mask (instead of a Type IIR face mask), gown (instead of an apron), gloves and a visor following a risk assessment.

All employees required to wear an FFP3 face mask must attend a face-fitting and training session with the health and safety team. The session identifies the type of FFP3 which provides the best fit around the face for each person and gives information on how to use the face mask correctly.

Face fit test

A face fit test should be carried out before people wear respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for the first time. An Inadequate fit can reduce the protection provided by the RPE.

A fit test should be repeated whenever there is a change to the RPE type, size, model or material, or whenever there is a change to the circumstances of the wearer that could alter the fit of the RPE, for example:

  • weight loss or gain
  • substantial dental work
  • any facial changes (scars, moles, effects of ageing etc) around the face seal area
  • facial piercings
  • introduction or change in other head-worn personal protective equipment (PPE)

There is no stipulated frequency for retesting, and you don't need to retest if there are no changes in these circumstances.

If there are changes in these circumstances arrange with your line manager to be fit tested for the close fitting RPE you use.

Managers can arrange FFP3 fit-test and training sessions for employees by contacting the health and safety team, email

Following the session, a supply of the correct FFP3 face mask can be ordered from the PPE supplies team.

More detailed health and safety information about AGPs can be found in our COVID-19 PPE guidance and the full list of AGPspublished by government.

Putting on and removing PPE

It's vital that all employees follow instructions and training about how to put on and take off PPE and how to dispose of it safely after use. There is a Public Health England (PHE) video - COVID-19 Putting on and taking off PPE - a guide for care homes - for both regular care and AGP procedures, and posters to print covering:

You can find information on the safe disposal of PPE attached to this page.

Face coverings

Face coverings are not PPE but do help to reduce the spread of coronavirus to other people when used with social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Failure to wear a face covering in places where it is mandatory unless exempt may result in a fine.

The government has said it is mandatory to wear a face covering in many public indoor spaces and has published guidance on face coverings, including when to wear face coverings and exemptions. Failure to wear a face covering in places where it is mandatory unless exempt may result in a fine.

There is separate guidance on face coverings in education and actions for early years and childcare providers.

To reduce the number of single use face coverings entering the waste system and landfill, employees are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings that are designed to be washed and reused.

Guidance for managers

Further information for managers about PPE and face coverings for our employees is available in our workforce supply and demand guidance.

Managers should always speak to their department's health and safety consultant with any specific questions, risk assessments or concerns about PPE, including any advice they may have received from a third party which differs from our policy.

PPE items

We're supplying a range of PPE items directly from our central logistics hub during the COVID-19 emergency. These items are not currently available to order through Orderpoint:

  • personal care nitrile gloves (including low allergy)
  • plastic aprons
  • Type IIR fluid resistant surgical masks
  • FFP3 face masks (also known as respirators)
  • face visors
  • goggles
  • gowns

The logistics hub also holds stocks of hand sanitiser and orange clinical waste sacks.

All the items are available to order directly from the PPE supplies team for approved uses in accordance with our PPE guidance.

PPE and related items not stocked by the logistics hub should be ordered through Orderpoint as normal.

Ordering PPE

Managers must ensure that the items and quantities requested from the PPE supplies team comply with our guidance on the use of PPE. It's important that we all use PPE in the correct way according to the latest guidance.

We've changed the way PPE is ordered during the COVID-19 pandemic so that we can check, prioritise and supply all orders through a central team.

Do not use the government PPE Portal

Our logistics hub is receiving stock directly from government for local distribution in Derbyshire. Our residential homes, home care teams and special schools must not use the government's PPE Portal to obtain supplies unless instructed by our PPE supplies team.

How and when to order

One order can be placed each week as needed. Up to 14 days stock of each relevant item can be requested with each order.

Place an order for PPE

You can email with any queries or problems in using the online order system.

Delivery and collection

Orders should be placed in good time and will be delivered within 3 to 10 working days. Orders can also be collected from County Hall, Matlock if requested on the order form.

Current stock levels

The PPE supplies team will check all orders and, if necessary, prioritise supply based on the stock available for each item. At the present time, we have good stocks of all PPE and are not anticipating any shortages.

Local buffer stock

We recommend that up to 7 days buffer stock of PPE is held by each of our residential homes, home care teams and special schools. Other services should consider if a small buffer stock is needed taking account of service priorities.

This is to ensure business continuity if there is a minor delay in placing an order or unforeseen disruption to supply.

Emergency support

If required, emergency advice and support is available from the PPE supplies team during normal working hours (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm except public holidays).

At other times, you may contact the duty officer for advice, tel: 01629 533190 (option 2 – adult):

  • Monday to Friday from 5pm to 11pm
  • weekends and public holidays from 8am to 11pm

Product quality standards

For a limited period, for health and social care use only, some COVID-19 PPE need not have a UKCA or CE marking in line with The Personal Protective Equipment (Temporary Arrangements) (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2020.

Supplies without a UKCA or CE mark can be used only if provided by the UK government through approved outlets including the PPE Portal and our logistics hub. These items have been tested and assessed by HSE as having met the necessary quality standards.

All PPE must have a UKCA or CE (until 1 January 2022) quality mark if not being used for health and social care purposes.

Reporting concerns

If you have concerns about any of the PPE you are issued with, please tell your line manager immediately and do not use it.

Any damaged or used PPE should not be worn and be disposed of safely according to the PPE guidance attached to this page.

Managers should immediately report any concerns and quality issues to the PPE supplies team, email:


Not all of our PPE documents currently meet web accessibility standards, but we are working on fixing this as soon as possible. If you have any issues please speak to your manager or email

Other useful resources

You can find other useful resources on the government's coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) hub. This includes illustrated guides for working in care homes and the community, with links to videos and posters to print on donning and doffing PPE. Posters to print on hand washing and hand rub procedures can be found in the infection prevention and control section.

These resources always should be used in conjunction with the council's PPE guidance (attached to this page) which describes the specific requirements for working in Derbyshire County Council settings.