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COVID-19 Direct Payments

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Updated 4 May 2022

Contents


What impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on Direct Payments, what to do if you have a personal assistant (PA), how you can use Direct Payments to buy personal protection equipment and to prioritise essential tasks.

Call the Plymouth City Council or Devon CCG Personal Health Budget Team if you cannot get support due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you do not have any other support network, which means you have no care today or tonight.

7 things you need to know about Direct Payments

  1. Direct payments should continue as before
  2. Open communication is very important
  3. The government expects direct payments to be used as flexibly as possible to manage any issues arising from COVID-19
  4. All personal care assistants are considered key workers
  5. PA's supporting adults over 18 in England are eligible for free testing
  6. All front line Health and Social Care workers are encouraged to take up the booster vaccination if offered an appointment or to visit a walk-in site as per government recommendations
  7. The free PPE scheme has been extended until March 2023

Direct payments funding pay dates 

  • We will make sure that your payments continue to be paid on your regular payment dates.

Frequently asked questions

Question

Answer

Is my PA classed as a critical worker?

YES

My PA is sick and can't work

The PA will qualify for Statutory Sick Pay if their average earnings are at least £123 per week (calculated over an 8 week period). However, those who are ineligible are able to claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance depending on their personal circumstances.

My PA is sick and self-isolating

The PA will qualify for Statutory Sick Pay if their average earnings are at least £123 per week (calculated over an 8 week period). However, those who are ineligible are able to claim Universal Credit and/or contributory Employment and Support Allowance depending on their personal circumstances.

My PA is not sick and able to work but I am self-isolating

The PA must be paid their contracted hours

Where the PA has capacity to support other vulnerable people, the PA should contact Plymouth City Council on 01752 668000

My PA can work and I am not self-isolating                                            

If your PA can work, they should carry on fulfilling their caring duties.

You and your PA must follow the Health and Safety new rules and procedures very seriously and implement them based on government guidance. This is for yours and their protection as well as reducing the risk of infection to other people.

 


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If you need to stay home because of self-isolation, you can use Direct Payment funding in a more flexible way to prioritise essential tasks like:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Hygienic cleaning
  • Clothes washing
  • Food preparation

PPE Use

  • General PPE: gloves, masks, sanitiser gel and aprons
  • Bodily fluids: plastic aprons, fluid resistant surgical masks, eye protection and gloves are recommended

Employer Responsibility

  • You must ensure that employee(s)' are adequately protected with PPE as per the government and Public Health England guidance.

Access to PPE

Employers should ensure that the necessary PPE is available for their PA's to use.  Refer issues with access to  PPE to Enham, the support service provider, and issues with funding to Plymouth City Council.

Access to free PPE has been extended until March 2023.

 


Prevention and infection control

General Control Measures

  • Personal assistants and care workers should follow Advice on appropriate hand hygiene
  • Increased cleaning activity: use the usual household products such as detergents and bleach because these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces
  • Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly
  • Keep the property ventilated by opening windows whenever safe
  • Stay Alert/Stay Safe
  • Face coverings or PPE should not be put in a recycling bin or dropped as litter.  Please dispose in  a 'black bag' waste bin or litter bin

Self-Isolating

  • You may use your Direct Payment funding in a more flexible way to prioritise essential tasks like:
    • Personal hygiene
    • Hygienic cleaning
    • Clothes washing
    • Food preparation

 


Statutory Sick Pay explained

If your Personal Assistant tells you they have symptoms of COVID-19 as described on NHS website, they should stay home or you can send them home. If they earn above the Lower Employment Limit (LEL) statutory sick pay would apply from day one.

If they do not qualify, they can check GOV.UK to see if they can get financial support in the form Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance.


COVID-19 testing


Useful guidance and further information

Where to get direct payment help and advice in Plymouth

Enham - Support Service Provider:

Plymouth City Council

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group - Personal Health Budget Team

Additional COVID 19 guidance Plymouth


GOV.UK guidance

 


Latest COVID-19 guidance

For the latest COVID-19 guidance and information, please view the GOV.UK website.

If you need medical help, go to NHS 111 online.

Read the latest Government COVID-19 guidance


How to submit an organisation or community group to this website

If you are an organisation or community group and can help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, please complete our online form and we will add you to this directory.

Submit your offer of help and support 


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