Guidance for people with PAs/carers

There are a range of extra things you need to consider if you rely on care and support from others, whether this be family members, carers from an agency or Personal Assistants that you employ directly. Many people are worried that their care and support arrangements will break down, either because PAs/carers won’t come in because they are scared about catching the virus, or they get ill themselves or have to self isolate. Real is working with Tower Hamlets Council and others to get you good advice and support.

PeoplePlus’ Independent Living Service has produced some excellent resources for people with direct payments and personal health budgets. It includes amongst other things:

  • a key worker letter
  • sick pay guidance
  • employer guidance
  • explaining furlough leave

You should have some contingency arrangements in your support plan, but they may not be adequate for these exceptional times. As part of a package of support to help you manage your own care and support arrangements Tower Hamlets Council are:

  • giving all direct payments recipients an extra 10% contingency fund in your next payment which is due in early April – you can use this creatively to meet extra costs arising because of the coronavirus pandemic
  • relaxing some of the rules around how you use your direct payments
  • implementing the London Living Wage uplift due in April 2020
  • working with People Plus to provide extra support if you need to implement alternative arrangements, e.g. with different agencies
  • working with People Plus to provide reference letters for your PAs/carers to show they are key workers for the purposes of travel.

In the rest of this section you will find lots of extra information such as:

  • an overview of your responsibilities and advice on keeping your relationship working well
  • advice on extra precautions your PAs/carers should take, in general, on the way to work and when at work.
  • advice on your PAs travelling during the lockdown, and contingency planning
  • advice and guidance on getting PPE (personal protective equipment) for your PAs/carers
  • (when we get the list from the council) details of approved care agencies who you could approach for backup support
  • advice on spending your direct payments creatively, and how to access extra emergency money if you need it.

Important announcement
Some people will be shielding or social distancing and they may have family members or others supporting them in the meantime. Tower Hamlets Council have confirmed that, if you temporarily withdraw from receiving services, because you do not want to come in contact with other people, they won’t use this as evidence that you don’t need that support in the future. The most important thing is that you feel you are safe.

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