Menu
Building on a people’s movement for change…

Staying connected about Covid-19

Many of us have questions and concerns about the coronavirus and employing personal assistants, amongst other things. We will be sharing on here any relevant information and guidance that we hear about.

NEWEST INFORMATION

Information on the third dose for people with a weakened immune system.


Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support. Change made: ​Updated to include guidance on self-isolation that came into effect on 16 August

  • Updated Direct Payments Guidance (updated 19th August 2021)

The Department of Health and Social Care has published updated guidance on the use of direct payments during the pandemic.  Two versions are available, one for CCGs and LAs and another for individual budget holders.  The guidance has not changed substantially and states:

During this period it is essential that local authority and CCG commissioners continue to take a flexible approach to the arrangements people receiving all forms of direct payments, their families and carers will need to make in order to continue to meet their care and support needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expectation of flexibility should apply to all services provided by local authorities or CCGs (or both) that help maintain people’s wellbeing.

The guidance for Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities can be found here

The guidance for budget holders can be found here

  • More Updated guidance (from after 16th August 2021)

Following the changes to self-isolation for contacts from Monday 16 August, the following pieces of guidance have been updated:

  1. Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19 infection who do not live with the person
  2. COVID-19: stay at home guidance
  3. COVID-19: how to work safely in domiciliary care in England
  4. Visiting arrangements in care homes
  5. Arrangements for visiting out of the care home
  6. COVID-19: how to work safely in care homes
  7. COVID-19: admission and care of people in care homes
  8. Supported living services during COVID-19
  9. COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings – Section 2.5 has also been updated to include what to do if a staff member cannot have a PCR test.

  • Self-isolation removed for double jabbed close contacts (updated from 16th August)

From Monday 16 August, most double vaccinated health and social care staff who are close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will no longer have to self-isolate. They will be able to routinely return to work, provided they have had a negative PCR test. Daily LFD tests will need to be taken for 10 days as a precaution.
⇨ Read the article here

When to use PPE, including for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), in education, childcare and children’s social care settings for COVID-19. Change made: Added ‘The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs)’ for use in Step 4. We have removed sector information on the controls measures and included information on the use of personal protective equipment, including for aerosol generating procedures.

What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Change made: Published new guidance which will come into effect from Step 4 of the roadmap. This includes updated guidance on workforce, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, attendance, residential settings, remote education, education recovery, home to school transport and funding. It includes new guidance on protection measures such as: mixing and ‘bubbles’, close contact tracing and isolation, face coverings, contingency planning, hygiene measures, ventilation, suspected or confirmed cases and testing.

A resource for those working in domiciliary care providing information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Change made: Added new section on use of PPE for live-in careworkers.

Legislation and guidance on the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) and the latest information on progress towards their implementation. The Liberty Protection Safeguards will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLs) and extend protections to more settings and people, including young people aged 16 and 17. Change made: Added link to ‘Summary of LPS National Steering Group meeting: May 2021’. Updates include summary factsheets:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liberty-protection-safeguards-factsheets

Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support. Change made: Updating guidance to show the supply of free PPE to all of Adult social care is until the end of March 2022.

Information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Change made: Added link to guidance on national restrictions & on 3rd June Added audio and British Sign Language (BSL) versions

Information for people who are caring, unpaid, for friends or family during the coronavirus outbreak. Changes made:
Updates made to guidance in line with minor changes on the 21st June in restrictions. Previous change updated end date for free PPE offer to the end of March 2022

Unpaid carers are now included in vaccination priority cohort 6. Unpaid carers can be family members or friends, adults or children, who provide crucial care to a person who, due to a lifelong condition, be it to their physical and/or mental health, disability, or serious injury, simply cannot cope without their support.

How personal assistants and anyone working in adult social care who is not receiving regular testing in England can access twice-weekly COVID-19 testing. Change made: Anyone working in adult social care who is not receiving regular testing in England can access twice-weekly COVID-19 testing.

Personal assistants working in adult social care who provide care that requires them to come within 2 metres of an adult over the age of 18 who they support will be eligible for testing. You’re eligible as a personal assistant if: you’re directly employed by an individual (or self-employed) to provide care and support to enable them to live as independently as possible; the care you provide requires you to come within 2 metres of an adult over the age of 18 that you support

If you need support while outside your home, this guide explains what you and the people helping you should do to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Change made: Updated to reflect changes to the coronavirus restrictions that came into effect on 17 May.

Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak. Change made: Updated to add a call-out about the new COVID-19 variant of concern.

Guidance for people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Change made: Updated to reflect easing of some COVID-19 restrictions from 12 April.

Useful Resources

Please contact your local CCG and/or Employer’s Insurance company for individual advice

Covid-19 Testing and Vaccination

Information on testing and vaccination for personal health budget holders and personal assistants (click to open/close section)

How PAs working in adult social care in England can now access weekly COVID-19 testing.

Includes people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, people with other conditions that put them at higher risk, frontline health and social care workers (including PAs) and carers.

Advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the groups that should be prioritised for vaccination.

Unpaid carers are now included in vaccination priority cohort 6. Unpaid carers can be family members or friends, adults or children,who provide crucial care to a person who,due to a lifelong condition, be it to their physical and/or mental health, disability, or serious injury, simply cannot cope without their support.

Letter from Matt Hancock confirming that everyone on the Learning Disability Register will be invited for vaccination as part of cohort 6, in line with recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

This guidance confirms eligibility of personal assistants for vaccination as frontline workers – “frontline social care workers directly working with vulnerable people who need care and support irrespective of where they work (for example in hospital, people’s own homes, day centres, or supported housing); or who they are employed by (for example local government, NHS, independent sector or third sector).”

Para 5.22 confirms eligibility of personal assistants for vaccination as frontline health and social care workers: “…it is vital that we identify and reach directly employed Personal Assistants, who support people within any of the JCVI priority groups (the clinically vulnerable and adults) as part of our efforts to ensure full coverage of the priority 2 cohort.”

Personal Health Budgets and Employing Personal Assistants

Information and advice for personal health budget holders and those who employ personal assistants (click to open/close section)

Includes full guidance for using direct payments during the coronavirus outbreak, an easy read guide, a template contingency plan and example documentation.

This guide contains the most common questions they have been asked and some important information to know when employing personal assistants through the pandemic.

Employment advice and information from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

Information about how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) can be used by direct payment holders who employ people for their care.

This course is approximately 2 hours in duration and includes information such as infection prevention, PPE, hand and respiratory hygiene, management and assessment, sampling and testing, patient transfers/managing patients and much more, to support health workers in their role.

2 e-learning courses available for £2.95 each – a “Covid-19 Clinical Care Programme for Healthcare Workers”, and a “Covid-19 and Infection Prevention & Control” course.

This Covid Essentials online course has been designed specifically for Care and Support Workers working in a social care setting and should take around 30 minutes to complete.

Health

Information about shielding, providing home care, advance care planning and more (click to open/close section)

Includes easy read, large print, British Sign Language, audio and translated versions. Added links to guidance from devolved administrations. (updated 16th April 2021)

Information for those providing personal care to people living in their own home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Guidance for people who are providing unpaid care to adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance for careworkers and personal assistants who are supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Information about who can get help from, and how to access, the NHS Volunteer Responders if you are self-isolating and in need of support. For people who are eligible, they offer help collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or a telephone ‘check in and chat’ to help prevent loneliness.

Guidance notes and template for completing ‘My Covid-19 Advance Care Plan’. A useful place to write down quickly and in one place, the thoughts and wishes you have on the care and support you would like if you were to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms.

A Personalised Well-being Plan template from the National Academy for Social Prescribing, which can be used by anyone who is self-isolating, family, friends, healthcare professionals and carers to summarise a person’s personal circumstances, and the things that matter most to them at this time.

Official statement from Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, DBE, and James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement

Letter from Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, and Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England and NHS Improvement

April 2021 (updated regularly)

Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to keep in touch with our latest news and resource updates.

By clicking Sign Up, you agree to peoplehub holding your data for the purpose of sending newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time.