Why PPE is still important

21 March 2023

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) made many headlines at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but whilst supply may now be keeping up with demand everyone in care knows we can not afford to forget its importance for maintaining hygiene and protecting individuals?


At Wippet, we offer a wide range of PPE, including gloves, face masks, aprons and gowns. Although there is still free issue PPE from the UK government many care providers are supplementing their free issue PPE with other choices and ranges. Let’s explore why PPE is still important and the options you and your staff have available to you.

Why is PPE still important in healthcare?

PPE is not just a pandemic ‘fad’ – personal protective equipment (PPE) has long been made available to protect individuals from harmful substances, as well as to maintain good levels of hygiene and reduce cross contamination, especially when disposable.

PPE is an essential part of effective infection prevention and control (IPC). It is one of the main basic IPC measures, along with hand washing. The advice has always having been to wear gloves and aprons if you expect to come into contact with blood, body fluids or other secretions, for example, and this continues. PPE is also an important measure when there is a risk of catching or spreading an infection.

It is important to remember, however, that PPE is the last element in the hierarchy of controls, used when other considered controls are considered insufficient to manage the risk of infection, including the controls of:

  • reducing the hazard
  • changing what we do
  • changing where we work
  • changing how we work

As stated in the Infection Prevention and Control Resource for Adult Social Care

There are different types of PPE needed depending on the assessed risk and healthcare recommendations for different scenarios and locations. In care homes and nursing homes, personal protective equipment, usually includes a combination of the following four items:


There are many varieties of disposable gloves to choose from, including a choice of materials and colours. At Wippet, you can choose from a wide selection of vinyl gloves, which are flexible and versatile and a great alternative to latex for those who need latex free gloves due to allergies; nitrile gloves, which offer more protection and are more durable; and traditional latex gloves which are flexible, offering protection, and comfort, when allergies are not an issue. The government are still supplying some gloves to the care sector, however blue gloves used for food preparation, are not provided by the government.

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Disposable aprons are lightweight and work well to protect uniforms and clothing, as well as individuals. Wippet offers a range of colours of aprons. Coloured aprons are recommended to be assigned to different types of tasks. Colours include: white, yellow, red, blue and green. Aprons can be purchased on a roll for easy storage, access and use, as well as in a flat pack, if more suitable for your nursing home, care home or healthcare setting.

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 Face Masks

Another element of kit for effective infection prevention and control is the face mask. Again, there are a wide variety available to you and your care staff depending on assessed risk and day-to-day need. At Wippet, you can find both medical and surgical masks, with elasticated ear loops, as well as those with a respirator FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 with valves, if this level of protection is required. They are cone shaped, comfortable and soft against the skin.

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For isolation or other occasions when more than an apron is required, single-use breathable gowns are available in both yellow and blue, from Wippet. With a range of knitted and elastic cuffs; neck and tie waists or secure Velcro, as well as kimono style gowns, there are many to choose from that are both lightweight and comfortable to wear for your staff.

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What else is there to consider when purchasing PPE?

As well as considering exactly what PPE you require, consider also the comfort of items, the storage of PPE to preserve its integrity and quality, as well as the quantity ordered.   


It is important to check that PPE is well made and fit for purpose. It should be comfortable to ensure it does not interfere with your staff’s ability to do their jobs. Factors such as length of use, durability, weight and disposability should also be considered.


Whilst it is obvious that PPE needs to be stored in a clean and dry location, consider also the ease of access to PPE. Where is it most often needed within the care home, nursing home or other healthcare setting? For care workers in the community, consider storage within the home of the person receiving care, as well as within a vehicle.

Use by dates

Many items of PPE have a ‘use by’ date, so be aware of this not only when using certain items of kit, but also when ordering PPE items, so as not to overstock and cause unnecessary wastage.

Choose from a range of PPE options with Wippet

Visit Wippet, the UK's healthcare marketplace, when looking for your personal protective equipment and kit.

Wippet offers a range disposable, single use items of PPE from who are thoroughly checked, to maintain hygiene and effective infection protection control, without sacrificing comfort.

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