PPE gowns letter Final QA SA

​Publications approval reference: 0010559


NHS Trust CEOs
NHS Trust Medical Directors
NHS Directors of Nursing
NHS Trust procurement leads

Friday 10th April 2020

Dear colleague,

Re: Agreement by Health and Safety Executive for use of coveralls as an alternative option for non-surgical gowns

In the last week we have seen over 200,000 gowns delivered to NHS trusts. Many more gowns are on order and being manufactured at pace. Nevertheless, trusts in some parts of the country are experiencing supply constraints with gowns.

The Health and Safety Executive has now also agreed the use of disposable coveralls as an equivalent alternative to non-surgical disposable gowns for the same indications as recently published in PPE Guidance on 6 April. The link is at the bottom of this letter.

Gown deliveries will still be made over the bank holiday weekend to Trusts who have contacted the National Supply Disruption Line, and we will also make deliveries of coveralls in addition over this weekend.

The UK PPE guidance has been updated today to reflect this change, with the support of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Royal College of Nursing.

Please do review the guidance and the supporting training material which is important for staff who have not previously used coveralls; the doffing procedure as always with PPE is particularly important. The link is at the bottom of this letter.

As a reminder, gowns or coveralls in place of non-surgical gowns are only recommended for use by clinicians in a limited number of procedure environments where either an aerosol generating procedure is performed or they are working in a high-risk area such as an intensive care unit or emergency department.

It is most important that all PPE is used in line with the UK guidance to maintain staff safety and supplies.

Guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) PPE:

Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19 and revised tables on recommended PPE:

Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), donning and doffing:

Yours sincerely

Professor Keith Willett | Strategic Incident Director COVID-19 | NHS England and NHS Improvement

Professor Yvonne Doyle | Medical Director & Director of Health Protection | Public Health England