NCL approach to mask use

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National guidance on the use of type 2 and FFP3 masks has been considered at the London IPC group and they have agreed that the current national guidance should be followed. 

The NCL DIPC group have now agreed an NCL approach to mask use following discussion about a possible change of approach to mask use in non-Aerosol Generating Procedure areas. 

The agreed recommendations are:

Where tolerated, we will ask that all in-patients wear a type 2 surgical face mask.

In outpatients and primary care settings patients will continue to be asked to wear a face covering if able.

In non-AGP clinical areas and in primary care staff will be strongly encouraged to wear both a type 2 surgical face mask and eye protection for the care of patients on all risk pathways.

FFP3 masks and face shields will continue to be recommended for AGP areas

Staff using FFP3 masks must always be fit tested for the relevant type of FFP3 mask.

The full NCL Briefing Statement Mask Use is available.

The national review of PPE usage has already confirmed that a type 2 surgical face mask, on its own, provides sufficient protection for staff and therefore the additional measures recommended here provide even more enhanced protection.

Note: GP practices can order face visors as part of their free weekly order from the National PPE Portal. Practices can register on the portal via an email invite they should have received to their CQC registered email address. If you are experiencing issues accessing the portal, or haven’t received part or all of your delivery, please contact the PPE Dedicated Channel customer service team on: 0800 876 6802. Further information and details of PPE that can be ordered can be found on the gov.uk guidance page.


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Expiry date: Dec 31st, 2099