Independent Living Services – News updates
Important Covid-19 news (August 2021)
PeoplePlus staff are continuing to offer e-mail, telephone and video call support as the primary function for engaging with those accessing our support services. Now restrictions have lifted, we will provide home or community visits for those who have difficulties accessing services via those methods. Please speak to your local team if you require a face to face visit. Our staff will be following the government guidance listed below.
In both England and Wales, most restrictions have been lifted. This is known as Step 4 of the Government Roadmap in England and Level 0 in Wales. In both England and Wales, it is advised that the lifting of these restrictions does not mark the end of the need for caution and restraint. Everyone needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. The NHS have put together a list of recommendations for how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. These include:
- Getting vaccinated – everyone over the age of 18 can get now get vaccinated and can book an appointment here. From 4th August, 16-17 years can also get vaccinated. They will be contacted by the NHS but cannot book online.
- Meet people outside if possible
- Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- Limit the number of people you meet and avoid crowded places
- Wear a face covering when it is hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
For those using care agencies, the agency should still be providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the care workers coming to support you. If you are an employer of personal assistants, you are still entitled to free PPE for your personal assistant(s). You can access free PPE through your local resilience office or via the local authority (your council) or NHS. If in doubt of who to contact, please get in touch with your local PeoplePlus team.
If you are a personal assistant, the government considers you a key worker, both now and in the future. This currently means:
- In the likely event you come within 2 metres of the person you are supporting, you can have access to regular testing. Information on how to get your free lateral flow testing kits is available here
- If you have coronavirus symptoms, you can get a free PCR test delivered to your home address. This is also available for unpaid carers. Find out how by clicking here
- You are eligible for a free flu jab this winter. Most GPs and pharmacies are starting these jabs from September 2021. There is specific information about how personal assistants can get a free flu jab here – and a letter of entitlement is available for download here
Many other people are eligible for a free flu jab this year, including those over 50 by 31 March 2022, care workers, if you receive carers allowance because you care for someone and those at higher risk. More information about who is eligible can be found here. If you are not eligible, most GPs, pharmacies and even supermarkets with pharmacies are offering them for a small charge (usually around £10).
- Government guidance around restrictions can be found at this government website.
- Government guidance specifically for recipients of direct payments can be found at this government website.
- PeoplePlus online tool kit to help you plan for care and support when your PA is unable to attend work
- Click here to access a range of easy read guides about Covid-19 from Mencap, covering information about lockdown, getting the vaccine, social distancing and face coverings
What we do
PeoplePlus Independent Living Services (ILS) support 10,000 people across England and Wales with their direct payment and personal health budgets. Our aim is to enable people to live independently in their own homes and communities. It is essential this support continues for those who use agencies, are employers or personal assistants during this difficult time.
We have produced a number of information sheets to give you the most up to date information around how COVID19 might affect you and/or your personal assistants. There are also key worker letters to enable your personal assistant to get to work. These are all available at the link below this box.
There are also key worker letters to enable your personal assistant to get to work and critical information regarding Covid-19 testing for personal assistants. These are all available at the links below. You can also access frequently asked questions related to Covid-19 for direct payment employers and personal assistants at the Skills for Care website here.
Our new, upgraded telephone system is fully operational and our team are ready to take your call. You can also contact us via e-mail. Please click here to find the specific e-mail address for your area.
NEWCASTLE (contract commences May 1st 2020)
Our telephone number for all services is: 0330 123 2815
Follow us on on Facebook @PeoplePlusIndependentLivingServices
For general information about our PeoplePlus Independent Living Services please click here.
For access to training please visit the PeoplePlus skills page here.
For information about our #FeedTheNation contribution please see here.
For self-employment support visit our Enterprise division here.