Background: Safety in prehospital practice is a paramount principle. Personal protective equipment (PPE) use is intrinsic to safe practice. There is varied guidance as to what constitutes effective PPE. No evidence is available of what current provision encompasses.
Methods: A questionnaire-based study directed to all ambulance trusts, British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS) schemes and air ambulance operations in England, Scotland and Wales.
Results: Total response rate was in excess of 66%. A specific protocol for PPE use was issued by 81%, 89% and 38% of ambulance trusts, air ambulance and BASICS schemes, respectively. There was a wide variation in provision of PPE both within and between different groups of providers. Fewer than 55% of providers had an evaluation system in place for reviewing PPE use.
Conclusions: Many reasons account for the differences in provision. There is a clear need for a standard to be set nationally in conjunction with locally implemented evaluation and re-accreditation processes.
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.