Newsletter for 
 individual employers and 
 those who support them 

 February 2022 

Welcome to the individual employer update which shares the latest news, resources, events and funding opportunities from Skills for Care and partners. You can find previous newsletters here.

 Latest news 
Calling all PAs and their employers – complete our surveys
Skills for Care is the leading source of workforce intelligence for adult social care in England. Good quality information about the workforce is vital in helping to improve the planning and quality of care and support, which will, in turn, improve outcomes for the people who draw on social care, both now and in the future.

As the workforce includes those working as personal assistants (PAs), we are inviting individual employers (Personal Health Budget (PHB) holders, direct payment recipients and self-funders) and PAs to complete our online surveys:
Both surveys will close on Friday 18 February 2022. If your organisation supports individuals who employ PAs, please share these links with your members and networks.

Information collected through these surveys will inform Skills for Care’s workforce intelligence reports and include key figures about the size and profile of the personal assistant workforce, turnover rates, pay rates and other workforce information. Read the 2021 report on Individual employers and personal assistants.
Planning for the year ahead #PrepareToCare22
As 2022 began, we dedicated the month of January to preparing for the year ahead, providing information, support and sharing resources around planning for learning and development.

We’ve produced an article giving top tips for individual employers, which talks about planning, including for contingencies, training and funding.

⇨ Look out for our spotlight on #ManagingChange – during February and March.

Guidance from the Government and key stakeholders 
Government launches new ten-year vision for adult social care
The Government has published their ten-year vision for adult social care in a white paper published in December 2021.

The white paper is part of the Government’s wider social care plans, backed by £5.4 billion, which, for the first time, provides a limit to the cost of care for everyone in the adult social care system, and significantly increases state support.

The Government has set out further details on how over £1 billion for system reform will be spent over the next three years to improve the lives of those who receive care – as well as their families and carers.

⇨ Find out more by visiting the Transforming Social Care webpage.

COVID-19 vaccinations and personal assistants (PAs)
At the end of January government announced it would launch a consultation on ending vaccination as a condition of deployment in health and all social care settings.

Although PAs directly employed by individual employers, were not included on the mandatory vaccination list, PAs working as part of a limited company or employed by a third-party organisation where those organisations were required to be CQC registered were.

It is still encouraged that everyone be vaccinated where appropriate.

Read an advice note produced by ILG Support on whether individual employers can insist on their PAs having the vaccine.

Free provision of COVID-19 PPE extended to end of March 2023
The Government has announced its decision to extend the central, free provision of all items of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) to the adult social care sector, including unpaid carers, by up to one year to March 2023 or until the ‘How to Work Safely’ guidance on PPE usage for COVID-19 is either withdrawn or substantially amended (whichever is sooner).

Read the press release announcing this decision.

The Government has also published its response to the public consultation extending free PPE to the health and care sector.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments
The advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support has been updated to reflect the latest guidance on the COVID-19 booster programme, travel and self-isolation, and the extension of the free personal protective equipment (PPE) scheme until 2023.

⇨ View the updated guidance

COVID-19 testing for anyone working in adult social care who is not part of regular testing at work
Guidance on testing for personal assistants has been updated to reflect recent changes in testing. Read the updated guidance.
 Skills for Care resource and support
Guidance on face to face training and assessment: updated
We’ve reviewed our guidance document for the sector in response to changing restrictions. Emphasis continues to encourage responsibility and risk management when planning face to face learning activities.

⇨ Read the updated guidance.

New accessible content to support the Care Certificate
Skills for Care has translated an introduction of the Care Certificate and an overview of each of the standards into British Sign Language (BSL). To make the content as accessible as possible, the BSL videos also feature subtitles and voiceover.

To assure the quality and accessibility of the videos, we worked in partnership with the Royal Association for Deaf People who filmed and edited the content with their in-house team.

The Care Certificate was developed jointly by Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health and is an agreed set of 15 standards that define the knowledge, skills, and behaviours expected of specific job roles in social care. It’s standard practice for new workers in social care to complete the Care Certificate as part of their induction.

⇨ View the videos on our website.
 Other resources
NHS health and wellbeing hubs
Health and wellbeing hubs have been set up during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide health and social care workers with confidential, free of charge counselling and talking therapies, regardless of how you have been affected throughout the pandemic. Contact details for all the hubs are listed here by region health and wellbeing hubs.

As everyone’s situation, perception and experience is unique to them, the hubs can be used for a variety of reasons including COVID-19 related concerns, for example long COVID, anxiety or stress related factors, but also for wider support such as work-related concerns, emotional wellbeing, relationship, family or financial worries. If you’re unsure whether you need help, you can make contact with the hub and explore the support available.

Our Skills for Care locality managers are connecting with their local hubs and are a good source of information. Most hubs are offering support to personal assistants and it’s also worth exploring what’s available in your local area through care provider associations and user led organisations.

Samaritans helpline for care and health workers – including personal assistants
The spread of coronavirus has affected all social care workers and everyone in the NHS, from nurses, doctors and porters, to care workers, personal assistants and housekeepers.

That's why the wellbeing support line is available for anyone who works or volunteers in health or social care, no matter what role you do. Their volunteers are on hand to support you when you’ve had a tough day, are feeling under pressure or have lots on your mind.

The support lines are run by Samaritans and all calls are answered by trained Samaritans volunteers, who provide confidential, non-judgmental support. They are available from 07:00 to 23:00, seven days a week.

⇨ Find more information and contact numbers for the helpline.

Webinar: Delegating health care tasks to your PA – Getting the right support
Thursday 3 March 2022 | Time: 10:00 – 11:30
Skills for Care is delighted to be hosting an interactive webinar for individual employers and support organisations about delegating health care tasks to PAs.

Many people find it confusing that some of the support their PA undertakes is defined as a ‘delegated health care task’ and requires a nurse or other health care profession to be involved. They may find it difficult to navigate the system in order to ensure that their health needs can be supported in ways that work best for them. During this webinar we explore how delegating health care tasks to your PA can benefit you.

Who should attend?
Individual employers and people that work for an organisation that supports individual employers including, user led organisations, direct payment support organisations, local authority teams, personal health budget support organisations, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) teams, charities, people that support individual employers within their role and other third sector organisations.

⇨ Register for this event.
Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection
Skills for Care has joined with 20 other social care bodies across England to launch Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection.

The past year has been particularly challenging for the social care workforce, including personal assistants who have continued to work tirelessly and make huge sacrifice in face of the pandemic.

The purpose of Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection is to thank those who provided crucial care and support during these tough times, and to remember those who sadly lost their lives to COVID-19.

A ‘Thank You Wall’ and ‘Memorial Wall’ have been created on
The Care Workers’ Charity website where people can share messages and tributes in the lead up to the day in March 2022.

Keep involved with the day on social media using #RememberSocialCare.



Ask for money for training – NEW deadline: Thursday 31 March 2022
If you employ personal assistants (PAs) using a direct payment (social care or personal health budget) or your own money, you can now ask for grant funding to pay for training to improve the knowledge and skills of your PAs.

As well as covering the cost of PA training, money can be requested to cover the cost of travel to and from the training and additional support costs whilst you PA is attending training (during their normal working hours).

You can also ask for money to pay for training that will improve your knowledge, skills and confidence in employing PAs.

Before applying, visit the
website to read what others have done with money they have received, how to ask for the money and frequently asked questions.
Funded training available through local user led organisation
Funding has been awarded to 22 disabled people’s user led organisations who are now offering lots of different training courses.

If you would like to access this funded training
have a look at what’s on offer, and then get in touch with them directly.
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Get involved on Twitter using hashtag
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