Covid-19 IPS Advice and guidance

Covid-19 Advice and Guidance

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more respiratory illness such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) Coronaviruses circulate in both human and animal populations and new variants can emerge when a coronavirus circulating in animals infects humans. COVID-19 is an example of a new variant of coronavirus that was first detected in human populations in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019. Many countries around the world have seen cases of COVID-19 and several have been affected by outbreaks. Intensive containment strategies based on surveillance and control measures have been successful in slowing or stopping outbreaks in some countries, although there are some countries which now have evidence of established community transmission and where control of outbreaks is less likely to be achieved (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

The precise routes of transmission of COVID-19 are not yet clear.  However, coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets and direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. Other coronaviruses have been found in faeces and blood (PHE website).  Evidence from COVID-19 outbreaks suggests that most transmission occurs within family groups and other close contacts (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

At least 80% of cases will have mild disease and not require medical intervention, approximately 15% will have severe disease and 5% will require some form of critical care support.  The mortality rate is currently estimated at approximately 1%.  However, since many cases of COVID-19 are mild or asymptomatic they are undetected and in the absence of serological tests there is a lack of certainly of the exact number of cases and hence attack rate (WHO press statement 2nd March 2020).

Key sources of advice and guidance

Public Health England Campaign Resources
A range of public information information and posters for acute and community settings that can be easily downloaded by registering on the website.

Public Health England Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance 
All current coronavirus guidance produced by HM Government.  Includes guidance for healthcare professionals for a full range of acute and non-acute clinical settings and guidance for non-clinical settings such as schools, businesses and social care.

NHS England
Comprehensive list of briefing notes, standing operating procedures and links to wide range of guidance documents.

NHS website
Simple guidance on signs and symptoms, travel advice and infection control.

Health Protection Scotland
Non-healthcare settings: 
Secondary Care: 
Workplace guidance poster:

NHS Inform 

Public Health Wales 

Public Health Agency



Should all healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 wear FFP3?
Click here - Published January 2021 
IPS are aware that many trusts are facing considerable pressure from staff concerns about facemasks in the context of the new variant of COIVD-19 and the huge pressure on NHS services.  These concerns are of course completely understandable but we have to be aware of potential adverse consequences of wider implementation of FFP3 respirators. Jennie Wilson has prepared a document that outlines some of the underpinning evidence and key considerations that might be helpful for making decision around this issue.  

Infection Prevention and COVID-19 related information videos: an IPS Cognitant collaboration
Published October 2020 
The IPS Care Home Special Interest Group together with the Education & Professional Development Committee have been working with a health information company called Cognitant who have been commissioned by NHSE to develop some COVID-related training videos for healthcare staff, with a particular focus on those working in the care home sector.  We think you will find the videos useful for training – they are short, engaging, clinicians have been involved in developing them, and they are completely free to access.  

They will be hosted on the Healthinote platform so they can be easily accessed on smartphones, tablets or computers.  Currently there are 2 videos available (Recognising Sepsis and Recognising Deterioration) as well as other information from Health Education England and Public Health England.  We are working with Cognitant on a third one about how germs are transmitted which will be available soon. 

You can access the videos by clicking on this link and following the instruction: 

Please take a look and give feedback in this short in this very short questionnaire.

Infection prevention and control and COVID-19 – learning from a pandemic 
Published 13.07.2020 
This webinar (below) was delivered by Professor Jennie Wilson for the Society of Occupational Medicine in July 2020. It explores the epidemiology of COVID-19, challenges for infection prevention and control in protecting both staff and patients, and lessons for future pandemic planning).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Prevention and Control The Dental Practice
Click here - 10 June 2020
IPS and the Central Sterilising Club have created these slides to provide COVID19 infection prevention and control information for dental practices based on national guidance.

Using PPE for Covid-19 in Intensive Care Settings
14 May 2020 
Q&A document - click here: These Q &As focus on the importance of standard infection control precautions and describe how to apply the national guidance whilst protecting both patients and staff. 
Film: Professor Jennie Wilson and Professor Hugh Montgomery discuss how to safely use personal protective equipment in the ITU to protect both patients and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Strategies for managing acute shortages of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic 
Click here - 23 April 2020 
This document has been developed to guide infection prevention and control teams in light of the current acute shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 epidemic

IPS and BACCN Joint statement on Facilitating compassionate care for patients dying with COVID-19
Click here - 15 April 2020
This guidance has been developed to enable care givers to provide confident safe & compassionate end of life care during the COVID19 epidemic. 

IPS Training Package
Click here - updated 08.04.2020
This set of 32 PowerPoint slides covers the basics of COVID-19 infection prevention & control and you are welcome to adapt them to support training of healthcare workers in your own workplace. They have been developed by IPS Board members and are based on the latest PHE guidance.  We will endeavour to keep them updated as this changes.

IPS Training Package (interactive version)
Click here - 01.06.2020
The latest version has been developed into an interactive training package with some questions to test knowledge. As this was developed with the current IPS version of PHE guidelines please be aware that if there are any updates these will not be incorporated in this interactive version.

IPS Training Package for the Operating Department
Click hereupdated 14.04.2020
IPS collaboratively with the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), the Central Sterilising Club (CSC) and OneTogether have created a set of 29 PowerPoint slides for COVID-19 infection prevention & control for the Operating Department based  on the PHE guidance.

IPS Training Package for Care Homes (without voiceover)
Click here - updated 07.07.2020
This set of training slides has been prepared in conjunction with the IPS Care Home SIG for COVID-19 infection prevention & control for nursing & residential care homes. These slides have been updated to support the roll-out of IPC training in care homes. They now include information about managing outbreaks and taking swabs.  

IPS Training Package for Care Homes (with voiceover)
Click here -  updated 07.07.2020 
IPS have released a version of their popular COVID-19 in Care Homes training slides with a narrative to support local care-home based education.

What is the evidence for airborne transmission of COVID-19?
IPS Vice President Professor Jennie Wilson has put together a summary of the evidence on survival of COVID19 in air and on surfaces and the evidence for risks of transmission from AGP from acute respiratory viruses.  The evidence still suggests that surgical facemasks are adequate for routine care.

COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes 
Guidance for those working in care homes providing information on how to work safely during this period of sustained transmission of COVID-19.
COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes - GOV.UK (

Guidance on managing suspected cases of COVID19 
Click Here

NHS Dumfries & Galloway
Good hygiene advice to deal with bugs

Elsevier have made COVID-19 related articles freely available. 

Accepted Manuscript for Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 
This is an Accepted Manuscript for Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology as part of the Cambridge Coronavirus Collection - Click Here 

Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Society COVID guidance 
Updated Briefing & Guidance on Considerations for the Ventilation Aspects of Healthcare Facilities for Coronavirus - Click Here.

NHS Estates FAQs
The responses to the Estates FAQs were drawn together from a panel across Ventilation Leads in the respective Nations NHS Estates Bodies, Ventilation Experts (including SAGE members) and PHE. It drew on the known research and evidence we have on disease transmission and Covid-19. It’s purpose, through the purpose of the collaboration hub, is to inform and support Estates Services in the NHS.  Click Here.

Quality Improvement Tools for Care Homes: 
Process Improvement Tool: Care Home (version 2) 
Rapid Improvement Tool: Care Home (version 2)

The Handwash Squad App:
This is an innovative digital game for children 4-8 years which aims to teach them, in a fun way, how to clean and disinfect their hands properly. The concept has been created and sponsored by a team of entrepreneurs and industry experts and is supported by IPS. It can be downloaded for free from Google Play and hopefully will be in the Apple store ‘soon’.

For schools:
Slides which can be downloaded, edited and added to to suit schools branding. Based on advice from 111 and government/NHS sources. 

PPE Audit:
This PPE Audit created by the Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is an example of a tool that can be used or adapted and maybe helpful for members. Click here.