How To Complete A Risk Assessment For The Appropriate Use Of Examination Gloves In Care Environments

How To Complete A Risk Assessment For The Appropriate Use Of Examination Gloves In Care Environments

Since the late 1980s’, the practice of using protective gloves has become part of everyday nursing home life, ensuring healthcare staff and those being cared for are protected from contracting infections via micro-organisms transmitted during certain skin-to-skin contact.

nurse and patient protection supplies

The use of protective gloves helps prevent exposure to drugs, chemicals and other substances which could cause skin irritations or serious damage and are the first and best line of defence against infection.

When Gloves Must Be Worn

Gloves MUST be worn when there is a likelihood of hand contact or exposure to:

  • Blood
  • Body fluids
  • Hazardous substances
  • Non-intact skin or mucous membranes
  • When handling contaminated items or surfaces

HOWEVER, gloves should not be worn unnecessarily, as their prolonged and indiscriminate use may cause adverse reactions and skin sensitivity. (Department of Health Standard Principles for the Use of Personal Protective Equipment 2001).

Assessing The Risks

Prior to undertaking any client procedure or contact with hazardous substances, a risk assessment should be carried out to establish whether or not there is a need for personal protection such as gloves. The following questions should be considered before selecting glove type:

      • Who is at risk (patient or staff)?
      • Is contact likely with blood, body fluids or substances hazardous to health?
        • If No, personal protection is not required.
        • If Yes, then personal protection is required, and consideration must be given to whether sterile or non-sterile gloves are required.
      • What is the barrier efficacy of the glove?
      • Does the member of staff or patient have any allergies?

The Health & Safety Executive state ‘in many situations a risk-assessment will suggest that in the presence of a risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission, for example surgery and body fluid contact, NRL (natural rubber latex) is the safest choice of material provided the worker and patient are not sensitised to this. However, due to the increasing incidence of allergic reactions to medical gloves it is important to carry out a risk assessment. This ensures that the right glove for the task is chosen and minimises potential risk to patients.

It is important to note that the recommendation is to not use latex disposable gloves as reactions to latex proteins can develop over time therefore the simple removal of latex from the care environment is the best option.

If a person is sensitised to NRL proteins, NRL-free gloves and equipment must be used. Not all NRL free gloves afford the same protection against blood-borne pathogens, so care must be taken in the choice of substitutes. Some gloves may only be suitable for non-clinical tasks as they may not afford the same level of protection against transmission of blood-borne pathogens.

If there is doubt, suppliers must be asked to provide test data to prove the gloves suitability. ‘Vinyl gloves are not an effective substitute for latex due to their limited strength and potential risks of the vinyl gloves leaking (ICNA glove usage guidelines)’.

‘Healthcare establishments are advised to develop a policy to address the purchase and safe use of gloves within their establishments’. (Medical Devices Agency)

Recently an NHS nurse won substantial damages from a Scottish hospital board because gloves in her workplace caused her a severe allergic reaction.

Look out for our next article in the series next week, High Risk v Low Risk, which glove to choose and why.

nurse and patient protection supplies
Image source: Canva


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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistantly good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.

 

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