Direct payments covid-19 information


Covid guidance for employers and their Personal Assistants 

The Government have issued guidance about using your Direct Payment. This is to help ensure the support you receive continues during Coronavirus. Read more on the .gov.uk direct payments page.

It is important to ensure that you can arrange care should your Personal Assistant (PA) be unable to support you. You should consider having a contingency plan in place to help arrange support if your personal assistant is unable to.

You may also use your direct payment flexibly to your usual arrangement. Please contact the Direct Payments team to help if this is the case.

Employing your PA through Covid 19

Employing your PA through Covid is vital to ensure your ongoing care and support continues. You should discuss with your personal assistant about continuing to work for you in the safest way possible during this time.

You may need to arrange a short term arrangement for your care if you PA has to self-isolate.

During this time you may find it necessary for family members to become paid carers and help support you. The family members may live with you. If so, then please contact the Direct Payments team for guidance. We will need to ensure your care needs are being met.

If your PA is self-isolating and they earn an average of at least £120 per week, then they are eligible to receive Statutory Sick pay.

For more guidance about employment advice and guidance whilst employing your PA through Covid please visit the Acas website.

Skills for Care also have further information and guidance relating to employment advice.

Covid Vaccine Information

For information about the vaccines, what happens when you have your vaccine and how to book your vaccine please refer to the NHS guidelines.

Social care providers have been sent a letter in relation to Covid vaccinations. This will include yourselves as an employer of a Personal Assistant.

We encourage you and your PA to have the vaccine to protect yourselves and to continue to provide the care they support you with.

Testing for PAs

Covid 19 testing is encouraged for anyone employed to provide care and support to an adult but who are not part of regular testing at work. Your PA can access twice weekly Covid testing.

Testing is important to identify personal assistants who currently have Covid 19 so they are able to self-isolate if positive. The testing also protects those receiving care from infection.

For more information about ordering test kits and support for using the test kits, please visit the .gov.uk website about testing.

Flu Vaccinations

The Government have outlined that all Health and Adult social care key workers should be vaccinated against flu.

This applies if the worker is directly involved in caring for people who receive support. This includes all personal care assistants.

Personal Assistants are entitled to free flu vaccinations. There is guidance on the Government website which includes a letter of entitlement. this can be downloaded and completed to enable your PA to access a flu vaccinations.

If you employ one or more PAs you should ensure that the PAs are aware of the flu vaccine and have the opportunity to access it.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It is recommended that PPE is required when;

  • Personal Assistants are providing direct care to an individual within their home.
  • This includes help with tasks such as washing, toileting, dressing, help with medication, walking and getting up/going to bed.
  • PPE should be worn by your Personal Assistant when they are unable to maintain 2 metres social distancing.
  • Personal Assistants should follow PPE guidance if they are unable to maintain a 2 metre social distancing in a high-risk setting. Such as domiciliary care at home.

The Government has issued PPE guidance for staff working in care settings.

Guidance from Public Health England advises about infection prevention and control.

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