Targeted education to reduce PPE use

Rachel McLean
Rachel McLean • 7 December 2022

Project completed as part of the Northampton Green Team Competition 2022. 

Setting/Patient Group: Trust-wide

Issue to be addressed:

Personal protective equipment (PPE) use increased over the pandemic but audits and observation have shown that unnecessary overuse has continued since the pandemic.


The team aimed to reduce inappropriate PPE usage by 10% and increase staff’s knowledge on appropriate PPE use by 20%

  1. Baseline observation and surveys used to identify trends of PPE overuse
  2. 10-week education multimedia package to reduce inappropriate PPE usage in clinical environments was developed



  • 4.3% and 22% reduction in inappropriate glove and apron use respectively over 2 months.
  • Staff knowledge of correct PPE use increased by 86%. The team expect this will reduce rates of common infections.


  • Empowered staff to use PPE appropriately.
  • Staff are happier not having to wear PPE when they don’t need to.


  • Projected annual saving 25,974 kgCO2e


  • Projected annual saving  £23,703.60 would be saved (£22,686.84 in procurement and £1,016.76 in waste disposal). 

Key learning point

The multimedia education package was extremely successful in showing that PPE can be reduced, with impressive reductions in just 10 weeks. The IPC Team are delighted that NHS England have engaged with the project and this idea is being spread to other trusts.


Click here for more information on the Green Team Competition (including organisation impact reports). 

Resource author(s)
Slyne H and Lowdon J
Resource publishing organisation(s) or journal
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust
Resource publication date
October 2022

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