Important information during the coronavirus crisis for individual employers and PAs
Please see some useful information and links for the most up to date information during the coronavirus crisis.
– Page updated 11th June 2020 –
The government has released the latest guidance regarding those receiving a direct payment and their employees.
Government guidance for Direct Payments – This page was updated on 10th June 2020
Please see the latest guidance from Skills for Care
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Personal Assistants
Please see the guidance relating to PPE for Personal Assistants including PPE requirements, items, how to order and using PPE correctly.
How to use PPE, including a video:
- See what PPE to use in different settings and context with this guide provided by Mark Bates Ltd
- COVID-19: safe use of personal protective equipment use for non-aerosol generating procedures
- COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)
- COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC)
Infection control – Best practice hand wash
Information on laundry and waste disposal – Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
Free online infection control courses – Prevention & Control of Infection NCFE/CACHE Level 2 Certificate
- Please read this important notice from Public Health England – Personal protective equipment (PPE) – resource for care workers delivering homecare (domiciliary care) during sustained COVID-19 transmission in the UK
How to order PPE for Personal Assistants
Luton – Where possible individual employers will provide PAs with the relevant PPE. When PPE these cannot be sourced please contact the Direct Payment Support Team at The Disability Resource Centre on 01582 470900 when stock levels are within 1 week. Please read the guidance for PPE requirements for PAs on this page. Please allow for order and delivery times when considering stock levels. To allow stock of PPE to meet the needs of all PAs we will need to ask you questions regarding your work to ensure the relevant amount of stock is ordered. As you can appreciate there is a high demand for these items.
Central Bedfordshire – Please contact the Direct Payments support team at The Disability Resource Centre on 01582 470900 for details.
Bedford Borough – Please contact the Direct Payments support team at The Disability Resource Centre on 01582 470900.
COVID 19 testing for Personal Assistants
The Coronavirus National Testing Programme has now expanded capacity to test other frontline workers, including all Personal Assistants (PAs) who are having to self-isolate due to having coronavirus-like symptoms or because a member of their household has symptoms.
Please see the GOV.UK website for full details:
- Any PAs who think they are eligible and need to be tested should speak to their employer first.
- Employers will need to complete the ‘Confirmation of employment and eligibility for testing- letter of ID’ and send it to their PAs with the presentation slides. The presentation slides include a list of ‘drive-through’ regional test site locations.
- PAs will then be able to register themselves for a test at the link provided within the invitation – using the link for ‘Other Government Departments’.
Personal Assistant (PA) HR
Useful guides from Mark Bates Ltd insurance: Guide To Furlough Leave Job Retention Scheme and Managing Coronavirus issues at work Guide for Individual Employers
Working in the care sector is a very rewarding career. As a Personal Assistant (PA) you will be employed directly by an individual who’s managing and paying for their own care through a social care direct payment or personal budget. You will provide support to them to live independently in their own home, in the community, at leisure or at work, helping with various aspects of their daily life.
You can be employed directly by one employer or work for a number of different people.
See more information about being a PA:
The Disability Resource Centre has partnered with CarePair to help Personal Assistants and carers find jobs and for employers to find carers or PAs.
Job vacancies are posted on CarePair as soon as they become available.
During the COVID 19 crisis we will be supporting those receiving Direct Payments whose carers are unable to work due to the crisis.
Please contact us to join our PA Register to provide the important work during this time.
To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period.
The change will enable:
- ID documents to be viewed over video link
- Scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted
Read the new DBS checking guidance
Many providers including ourselves have training available online.
Training is just as important as it has ever been.
Training via The Disability Resource Centre:
- PA Inductions will be carried out through our online learning and with support from our dedicated Direct Payment team. This will provide you with an introduction into your role and important information that you need to know like the legal rights of a PA, the PA code of conduct, disciplinary procedures, safeguarding, DBS checks, timesheets, annual leave and more.
- Employer Induction training is available to new employers. We will invite you to attend a virtual meeting where we can provide you with all the essential information to support you in your role as an employer.
Coronavirus awareness training:
Learning opportunities are available for coronavirus awareness training. This includes: Coronavirus Awareness Training – CCG
Skills for Care:
Wellbeing – We have two new online courses available from The Disability Resource Centre:
- Emotional Wellbeing
- The Best of Me
Other online learning opportunities – There are many distance learning courses available through local colleges that can be completed online including:
- Common Health Conditions
- Infection Control
- Falls prevention
- Understanding Mental Health
- Principles of Dementia Care
- Working in Adult Social Care
- Understanding Autism
- Principles of Working with Individuals with Learning Difficulties
Check our local colleges for the latest online learning courses:
More useful links
There are many local support groups who can help with shopping, including those on the Covid Mutual Aid website.
We built a special page with the latest coronavirus information for older people and vulnerable people.
Coronavirus guidance from Skills for Care including residential care, supported living and home care guidance, with guidance on key workers.
For information and guidelines from the NHS please visit the UK government website www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Help with food and essential supplies
If you or the person you care for has a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, you can register for help from the government with deliveries of food and essential supplies.
Register for help if you are extremely vulnerable on the government website.
Local foodbanks – Get the latest information about foodbanks in our area:
Help from our local councils
Regularly updated coronavirus information from Citizens Advice:
Paying your utility bills
Paying your rent or mortgage
Help for the self employed
Managing your money
We are here to help
Our hard-working team offers a telephone helpline on 01582 470 900, open Monday to Friday in office hours. Or email us anytime.
During the coronavirus crisis we can help you access reliable health and support information, and also put you in contact with NHS services to get medications delivered.
We are here with a listening ear too, offering emotional support to disabled people, people with long term health conditions, carers and families.
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New free online training courses starting soon. We have places available on our free wellbeing, employment and learning support programmes.
The Best of Me programme is a series of free online courses for Bedfordshire residents. We can help improve your health, confidence & wellbeing.
Please see some important information about PPE, Personal Health Budgets, shielding, COVID 19 testing for PAs and more up to date information to support PAs and individual employers.
Help for carers in Luton
Introducing the free support service for unpaid carers in Luton, Carers Central. We offer lots of free 1-2-1 help and advice by phone, email and online meetups.
Please consider donating to The Disability Resource Centre today so we can continue our vital services.