Following the announcement on 4 January of another lockdown and schools closing, some of you who employ or use the services of a personal assistant may have concerns about whether they can continue to work if they have children.
Personal assistants are deemed as 'care workers', and are critical workers or keyworkers under the government's guidance, so if they have or care for school age children they can send their children into their school (or another local school) as a critical worker.
We've produced a template that your personal assistant can complete so that they can be identified as a critical/keyworker. They can then use it if their school requests evidence of their critical worker status.
Additional information - if you need to travel to support someone, either as a PA or informal carer, please see the links attached to this page for a Shropshire key worker letter, carer pass and information sheet.
Information for personal assistants regarding lateral flow (rapid) testing and vaccinations
Lateral flow tests
You can book a test now using our online booking service.
Sites for the public are now open, especially for those who will need to continue to go out to work through lockdown.
One in three people who have coronavirus never show any symptoms but that doesn’t mean they aren’t infectious. Lateral flow (rapid) devices (LFTs) are one of the tools being used to help detect and fight Covid-19. The speedy tests can be turned around within an hour. Currently there are two sites offering them:
- Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, SY1 4NG
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:15-5:00 & Saturday – 9:30 – 3:00
- Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 9PS
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:15-4:00 & Sunday – 9:30 – 12:30
There should be three mobile units by the end of January. The sites are very busy at the moment but there will be more capacity in a couple of weeks, so if you struggle to get an appointment now, try again towards the end of January.
Full website address for booking - shropshire.gov.uk/lfdpublictesting/
PA vaccination priority
On 11 January the government vaccination delivery plan announced that employed personal assistants who support any of the priority groups (all over 16s with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality and all adults over 50) will be included in the priority 2 cohort for vaccinations. It's unclear how PAs will be identified and contacted at this stage, but we’re really pleased to see that central government recognises the importance of PAs' work as we do.
Find out more from the full guidance. The relevant part has been copied below for your information.
“5.22 Social care staff work in a range of settings beyond care homes, not least in domiciliary care, which makes up a significant proportion of the sector. The diversity of the sector and its workforce has put a premium on strong local leadership and partnerships between Local Authorities, the NHS, social care providers and their representative bodies. Close joint working between these partners, with local authorities playing a lead role, will be essential to identifying and offering a vaccine to all eligible frontline social care workers. To give just one example, it is vital that we identify and reach directly employed Personal Assistants, who support people within any of the JCVI priority groups” (the clinically vulnerable and adults) as part of our efforts to ensure full coverage of the priority 2 cohort.”
Webinar invitation from In Control
"Let’s talk about…personal assistants (PAs) Covid vaccinations and testing"
Webinar: Wednesday 20 January at 10am until 11:30am
We've received many requests over the past few days asking us to host a webinar regarding the current situation around PAs and Covid vaccinations and testing.
To get an overview of the current status we have asked Martin Walker from Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) and Katie Clarke from the ‘Bringing Us Together’ community to talk directly about issues being experienced, and from Rachel Harkin and David Ashley from Mark Bates Ltd for a legal and advisory perspective.
You can find out more about the webinar on the Be Human website.
You can register to attend online.
This webinar will be recorded and added to the previous series of webinars which can be found on the Be Human website.