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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Respiratory Protection (FFP3 Masks)


June 2021

Due to a supply issue, users of the 3M 1873v+ mask may be issued with an alternative mask. The briefing note explains the new alternative (3M 9932+). The updated version of the Organisational COVID-19 Risk Assessment is available here and should be adapted for local use.

March 2021

Document explaining the new H Series FFP3 mask, and flowchart for choosing which mask to test on is available here.

FFP3 Masks

The need for FFP3 Mask (oral nasal disposable mask respiratory protection) to be worn is identified through clinical risk assessment. The mask is used to protect against respiratory borne pathogens. To use these masks, relevant staff must be ‘face fit tested’ to ensure that they can achieve a suitable face fit of the mask and that it operates at the required efficiency.

The following documentation is used specifically in relation to face fit testing:

A list of current FFP3 mask fitters as of 3rd December 2020 is available here (only accessible to staff on NHS network).

Checking for an FFP3 fit test record

After checking, if you believe a fit test record is not on eESS that should be, please contact the Health and Safety Service:

FFP3 Mask Supply

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, NHSGGC fit tested to 3 masks – Alpha Solway 3030V and S-3V; and, the 3M 1863+. In early March 2020, significant challenges to worldwide supplies of FFP3 disposable masks occurred and as a result a number of different FFP3 masks were sourced and introduced. A statement from the Scottish Government relating to the use of pandemic stock is available here.

The following document gives an overview of the masks that have been issued by procurement during this period for face fit testing against:

FFP3 Mask Model Overview – updated 20th May 2020

Changes to mask availability due to the above, is likely to continue to occur during the next few months of 2020 and as such the Face Fit Test flow chart below identifying which masks should be fit tested against and are available, will be updated regularly

Fit Test Rec
  • At the point of fit test, the fit tester will complete an eForm available here**You will need the persons Payroll, eESS or NI Number to use this form**
  • Guidance for completing the eForm is available here
  • On completing the fit test, the record will be emailed to both the testee and the tester for reference and record keeping 
  • Fit test records will be uploaded on a regular basis to eESS OLM. The record can be found within a course entitled ‘PPE – FFP3 Mask’ in the Health and Safety category and viewed by both the testee and their direct line manager.
Guidance Documents

Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR)

A Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) is a type of respirator used to safeguard workers against contaminated air. PAPR consists of headgear and a fan which takes air from the surrounding environment, passes it through a filter and delivers it through a hose to the users face via the hood.

Within NHSGGC the need for respiratory protection to be worn is identified through clinical risk assessment. The first choice control measure is an FFP3 mask to which staff must be face fit tested, to ensure a tight seal is achievable. Staff will only be considered for PAPR if no available FFP3 masks are suitable for them and they are required to undertake / work in Aerosol Generating procedures/environments.

If you have been identified as requiring PAPR you will require to undertake learning, complete a self assessment and be competency assessed by GGC PAPR trainers, to ensure you are competent to Don, Operate, Doff, Decontaminate and Maintain/Manage the system. If you are assessed as competent to use PAPR safely, you will be enabled to use the system during AGP work activities. PAPR must be stored at your place of work.

The head gear will always be specific to you, however the rest of the system, fan unit, hose, belt, battery and charger may be used by multiple people. Arrangements for how and where to store the PAPR and the designated areas to put on and take off the system will be explained to you by your line manager prior to you using the equipment for AGP activities.

Training in PAPR will be specific to the PAPR system you will be issued, that is, after the training you will only be able to use the specific make and model you have been trained on and issued with.

Additional Documentation

8000 PAPR
Infection Prevention and Control

A step by step guide relating to the management process, including how to use the documentation below, for staff who have received training in the use of PAPR within NHSGGC, can be found here

  • Pre-use checklist – this must be completed and signed prior to every use of the PAPR system and kept within the box where the PAPR is stored  –  ** Updated 28th Jan 2021**
  • Filter change record – filters are valid for 1 month after opening. The date of opening must be recorded on this record and kept within the box where the PAPR is stored.
  • Monthly checklist – this must be kept with the pre-use checklist and completed every month when the PAPR has not been used 
  • Box Poster – This poster should be completed and stuck to the box that contains the PAPR unit.

Additional Information