Newsletter for 
 individual employers and 
 those who support them 

 August 2019 

New guide about how to run a sector-based work academy for PAs

This guide is for staff who work in organisations that want to run a sector-based work academy for personal assistants (PAs). It sets out a step by step process that you can follow to set up and run an academy. It includes tips, templates and case studies from four pilot projects that Skills for Care funded in 2018/19, about what works well and what to avoid.

If you’re setting up a new academy, you should read the whole guide at the start, to get an idea about what’s expected and to inform your planning. You can then re-visit the guide throughout the process as a helpful reminder. If you’re already involved in an academy, you can use the practical tips and templates to review and improve your programme.

Download the free online guide here.

You can also read the evaluation report from the pilot projects that we funded, here.

 News and updates 

Individual employer funding is now open

Skills for Care is pleased to announce that the individual employer fund is open.

If you employ your own personal assistants (PAs) using a personal budget from social care or health or your own money, you can apply for money for training for you and your staff.

If you support individual employers and PAs, please help us to spread the word using this leaflet. You can also request printed copies from us.

The funding can be used for lots of different training including moving and assisting, first aid, communication, dementia awareness, diabetes awareness, risk assessments, skills for employers, and qualifications like a diploma in health and social care. It can also cover travel costs and the cost of hiring replacement PAs.

It’s easy to apply. Find out more and download the guidance and application form. Applications close on Friday 28 February 2020 at 17.00.

We’ve funded 16 user led organisations (ULOs) to deliver training for individual employers and PAs
Each year, Skills for Care disburses funding to ULOs to deliver training for individual employers and personal assistants (PAs).

This year we’ve funded 16 ULOs, and the learning being offered includes training for individual employers to support them in their role as an employer, a range of condition specific awareness and subjects such as resilience and wellbeing, first aid, mental health awareness, understanding behaviours that challenge, Makaton, Care Certificate standards, disability equality training, food safety and much more.

Individual employers and PAs can find out what training your local user led organisation is offering here – if you’d like to access a particular course, you can contact them directly using the details on the website.

Updated numbers and findings about the adult social care workforce
Last week Skills for Care launched our updated ‘Size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England report 2019.’ The report contains the most up to date numbers and key findings regarding the adult social care workforce, including the personal assistant (PA) workforce.

Some of the key findings include:

§  around 237,000 adults, older people and carers received direct payments from local authority social services departments in 2017/2018

§  it’s estimated that approximately 75,000 (31%) of these individuals were employing their own staff.

Read the report here.

Research report: Payment cards as a means of managing a personal budget
The Independent Living Strategy Group, In Control and Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), have published a report about the use of payment cards in social care, following research undertaken by the Independent Living Strategy Group. The paper and accompanying recommendations are designed to support best practice and ensure greater consistency in the use of payment cards nationally. It’s relevant for local authorities, especially, social workers, assessment officers, support planners, finance teams and others involved in administering and overseeing personal budgets. Read the report here.

Update on VAT on payroll services from Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG)
Lots of individual employers use a payroll service, and there’s been some dispute over the VAT treatment of charges made by payroll providers when running a payroll service. A recent court judgement suggests that such payroll services should not be subject to VAT. Read the latest update here.

Market development to support personal health budgets (PHBs)
NHS England and Improvement, following engagement with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and hearing experiences of people with a PHB, has identified priority areas for market development, which include developing the personal assistant marketplace and support for individual employers.

Five sites have received funding to explore some of these areas and develop their local marketplace.

NHS England and Improvement expects to be able to share outcomes from projects at the end of 2019/20 and make recommendations for ongoing market development work in future years.

Find out more about the priority areas and aims of the projects here.

 New resources and updates 
 to the information hub 

New leaflet for social workers about being an individual employer
Social workers might support people to assess and decide what care and support they want and need to access. One of these options is how people can, if they want to, arrange their own care and support by becoming an individual employer. It’s important that social workers understand this option so they can support people to make an informed decision.

This new leaflet is for social workers and explains what an individual employer is and how Skills for Care can help.

It includes links to our online toolkit and funding for training, so social workers can pass on useful information to the people they support. 

Download the leaflet here, or email us to request printed copies.

Updated ‘Being a personal assistant’ guide
This guide is for people who want to be, or are already working as, a personal assistant (PA). It explains more about the role, why it’s a great job, and how you can find work. It also has useful information about what to expect when you first start and what learning and development you could do.

Download the guide here, or we have a limited number of printed copies that you can email us to request.

You could use the guide with PAs that you already work with, or to encourage more people to become a PA.

Supporting staff that regularly work alone: a guide for adult social care employers
This guide provides information about what works well for employers that employ staff who regularly work alone, such as individual employers. It’s based on learning and recommendations from research that Skills for Care did with employers and lone workers, and shares top tips and recommendations under key headings such as recruitment and retention, planning the workload, learning and development, health and safety, and supporting mental health and wellbeing.

You can use the guide to learn new ideas and change the way that you do things.

Download the free online guide here.

 Get involved

If you’re an individual employer, or work in an organisation that supports them, our free events will share local news and initiatives, and keep you up to date with the latest best practice and new resources.

Each event will be slightly different and will be tailored to local initiatives and news, but will cover topics such as:

§  joint-funded packages of support

§  recruiting personal assistant (PAs)

§  training for individual employers

§  research about pre-payment cards

§  local news.

There’ll also be the opportunity to network and share best practice with others, and hear from individual employers, PAs and local speakers.

Find your local event below.

§  Thursday 31 October 2019, The Life Centre, Sale

§  Tuesday 19 November 2019, The Trinity Centre, Cambridge

§  Wednesday 20 November 2019, Cathedral View, London

§  Tuesday 21 January 2020, Doncaster Holiday Inn

§  Thursday 06 February 2020, The Link Hotel, Loughborough

§  Thursday 13 February 2020, Village Birmingham, Walsall

§  Wednesday 26 February 2020, Durham Centre

Please note, we’re currently finalising dates and venues for events in South West England. Keep an eye out on our website for more information.

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Get involved on Twitter using hashtag #PAframework

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Skills for Care Ltd, West Gate, Grace Street, Leeds LS1 2RP
Registered company no.3866683. Registered in England
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