Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The Trade Unions and Professional Organisations in NHS Lothian are actively working together and also in partnership with NHS Lothian  to ensure that all staff, regardless of job, location or working pattern, have access to adequate and appropriate PPE to allow them to perform their duties as safely as possible at all times following the latest Health Protection Scotland guidance which is in line with the guidance published by the four countries chief nursing and chief medical officers on the 2nd April.

We acknowledge that not all tasks require full Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including FFP3 masks but we will constantly review this in line with any further evidence or guidance produced.

Concerns have been raised regarding variance in provision of PPE between departments and sites. As always, NHS Lothian has a duty to carry out risk assessments, to identify which PPE is appropriate to each task and this is something we will be working jointly to ensure is undertaken as and when appropriate. You must  use the appropriate PPE required for each task. Your health and that of others will be put at risk if both risk assessments and use of appropriate PPE are not maintained. Risk assessments must be made freely available to all staff and we encourage you to request sight of them, and to raise any concerns with local management and/or your local health and safety representative. You should also carry out a self-risk assessment if you have concerns.

We wish to give all members in the workplace a joint assurance of support in protecting the safety of staff and patients throughout NHS Lothian. You have the right to refuse to carry out any task for which you have not been provided with adequate and appropriate PPE and if you are within a medical category which requires workplace adjustments that you must be given the appropriate PPE to support this and again this should be undertaken as part of any risk assessment.

Please do not hesitate to contact your line manager or your own local trade union or professional body representative  if you have any concerns regarding risk assessments, PPE or any other matter.

Alex McMahon
Executive Director
Nursing, Midwifery and AHPs   
Alex Joyce
Employer Director