United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

UKHCA responds to HSIB report on PPE guidance - 27/08/2020

Inconsistent PPE guidance sadly contributed to a death of person using homecare from #COVID19 investigated by independent watchdog the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.

Jane Townson, chief executive of the United Kingdom Homecare Association, told The Independent that of home care services were in an impossible position at the start of the pandemic.

She said: “HSIB is 100 per cent right. What was going on at the time was unsafe.

“The production of official guidance on personal protective equipment has been a shambles throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Guidance designed for different care settings has been consistently confusing for the organisations who needed to put it into practice.

“In the early stages, an absence of clarity led to inconsistent local interpretations being made by public health, local councils and community health organisations, all with different views about what was required.

“Even once guidance was published, dissemination was woefully inadequate. Guidance was published on the website with little notice, frequently late on a Friday night, and provider associations received minimal notice to prepare briefings. There was a very high risk that care providers were not alerted to the changes unless they belonged to a membership association.”

She added: “In terms of the process going forward, what would be good would be to involve those who know about the service in the drafting stage, before the guidance is published when it possibly ends up causing extra work and is dangerous.”

Link to the Independent article

Colin Angel, UKHCA's Policy Director told the Guardian:

“It has been consistently confusing for people who had to put it into practice … It has relied heavily on cross-referencing between different online documents, they were using unfamiliar and ambiguous expressions and the information we needed was dotted across the website.

“Because the guidance wasn’t clear, in the early stages, local councils, community health services and providers were having to interpret what they thought were the right answers. We have been worried throughout coronavirus that both people receiving care and the workforce would not be adequately protected by the correct use of PPE.”

Link to Guardian article

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