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  5. COVID-19: Public health bodies update Infection Control Guidance

COVID-19: Public health bodies update Infection Control Guidance

25 November 2021

The UK Health Security Agency has issued updated infection prevention and control for seasonal respiratory infections in health and care settings (including COVID-19) for winter 2021-2022.

This guidance is issued jointly by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health Wales (PHW), Public Health Agency (PHA) Northern Ireland, NHS National Services Scotland, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and NHS England as official guidance.

The guidance is published on their behalf by UKHSA and reiterates existing standard infection control procedures with which osteopaths will be familiar, including hygiene measures, physical distancing where possible, pre-treatment COVID-19 checks with patients, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

It recommends the universal use of face masks for staff and patients within health and care settings over the winter period, and indicates that this is likely to remain in place until at least March/April 2022.

In relation to the use of gloves, however, these need only be assessed for use where there is exposure to blood or bodily fluids or non-intact skin. Similarly, disposable aprons must be used when providing direct patient care for patients with suspected or confirmed respiratory infection, but are not a requirement when this is not the case.

We will be updating our interim infection control guidance to reflect these changes, which will be available on our COVID-19 hub.