Welcome to the February ILG newsletter brought to you in conjunction with Mark Bates Ltd.
Regular COVID testing for Personal Assistants in England
Despite the continuous vaccine rollout, it is essential to keep testing frontline staff to reduce the spread of the virus. Personal assistants working in adult social care in England can now access weekly Covid-19 testing.
The system allows PAs to order tests every 28 days for themselves, or an employer can order them for their personal assistant. Four tests are then delivered for each PA for a 28-day testing cycle. Every 7 days a PA should take a test, register it online and return it by post.
PAs will receive their results in 48 hours by e-mail and text message.
For more information, please see government website here and flyer detailing the process here.
It is not yet clear if this will be rolled out to include PAs supporting younger adults (under 18) and children. Similarly we are not yet aware of any plans to roll this out in the rest of the UK but will update you as and when any new information comes to light.
Coronavirus vaccination for Personal Assistants
A reminder that Personal Assistants are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. The rollout to this group is being managed by local authorities.
In England, for two weeks following 11th February, all eligible frontline social care workers (including PAs) are able to book their vaccination appointment through the National Booking Service here. PAs will need to be registered with a GP in England to book an appointment.
PAs should inform their local authority, as well as their employer (where relevant) that they have booked their vaccine appointment.
You can find more information about the vaccine rollout in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland here.
Scotland – NHS Inform: coronavirus vaccination
Wales – Public Health Wales: coronavirus vaccination
Northern Ireland – Public Health Agency: coronavirus vaccination
In all cases PAs are well advised to take a letter from their employer with them when they attend their vaccination appointment.
Let’s talk about… ‘PA’s COVID Vaccination & Testing’
webinar follow up
Some of you may already be aware that Rachel Harkin from ILG Support and David Ashley from MBL were recently invited by Be-Human to speak at a webinar regarding the rollout of the covid vaccine for PAs in England.
You will also find previous webinars and other useful resources a the Be-Human webpage here. https://be-human.org.uk/webinar
Flexible use of Direct Payments during the pandemic
We know that continuing to manage your Direct Payment funding and employment responsibilities during the pandemic has been a struggle for many of our policy holders. Many of the enquiries we have received centre around the flexible use of Direct Payments.
Each UK government has provided updated DP guidance to apply during the pandemic. It is worth noting that they all instruct funding authorities to apply a flexible approach to the use of Direct Payments in these extraordinary times.
Click below for more information in your country.
New Individual Employer Furlough Guide
At ILG Support and MBL we are committed to providing guidance to support our policy holders and the organisations that support them. We recently updated our Furlough / Job Retention Scheme factsheet for individual employers. See link below to open and download a copy.