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 4th May 2020 –

Government guidance

The government has released the latest guidance regarding those receiving a direct payment and their employees.

Government guidance for Direct Payments

Up to date information and guidance on social distancing 

Latest information on shielding

Government information on Personal Health Budgets (PHBs)

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Please see the latest guidance from Skills for Care

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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:

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.

____________________________________________________4th May

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:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

Read the National Testing Programme Strategy Summary.

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

PA recruitment

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:

CarePair

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.  

Visit The Disability Resource Centre’s page on CarePair

PA Register

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.

DBS

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

Training 

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

Training Directory:

Skills for Care:

Wellbeing – We have two new online courses available from The Disability Resource Centre:

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.

ACAS – Advice for employers and employees during the coronavirus crisis

Practical information covering issues during the coronavirus crisis from Carers UK.

Coronavirus guidance from Skills for Care including residential care, supported living and home care guidance, with guidance on key workers.

Learning Disability England (LDE) –  Easy to read information on the coronavirus.

Mark Bates Ltd, Insurance company have shared useful information for employers and the self-employed during the coronavirus situation.

Important information

For information and guidelines from the NHS please visit the UK government website www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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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.

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Check the NHS website for advice if you or your family have symptoms

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Local foodbanks – Get the latest information about foodbanks in our area:

Luton Foodbank 

Bedford Foodbank 

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Help from our local councils

Regularly updated coronavirus information from our local councils:
 

Regularly updated coronavirus information from Citizens Advice:

Check what benefits you can get.

If you need help paying bills.

If you’re struggling with living costs.

If your employer tells you not to work.

If your partner makes you feel threatened/frightened.


Paying your utility bills

The Money Advice Service – Advice for those struggling to pay your gas or electricity bills

Paying your rent or mortgage

The Money Advice Service – Help available to those with mortgages or paying rent

Help for the self employed

The Money Advice Service – Your rights if you are self employed

Benefits

Gov.uk – Claiming benefits if you find yourself out of work 

Overdrafts/Credit Cards

Moneysavingexpert – Temporary measures to help with overdraft and credit card interest 

Managing your money

The Money Advice Service – Help if you have reduced income/lose your job

Hardship Funds

Turn2Us – The Turn2Us website has a grants search facility alongside it’s benefits calculator

Disability Grants – Grants for disabled people

Glasspool – Grants to ease hardship

Moneysavingexpert – Grants for low income families

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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.


 

Please call us on 01582 470900 or email us to find out more.

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Volunteers Week 2020 Jill Pick, the chair of our charity’s Board of Trustees said “The Disability Resource Centre is fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers who are part of our team working both front of house and behind the scenes.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees I would like to thank you

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