This information is for employers and PA’s about how to prevent the transmission of coronavirus / Covid-19 in community care settings.
Training for PA’s
It’s important that PA’s have up to date infection prevention training, this is available electronically through DaCE Cumbria. If you use Direct Payments or Personal Health Budgets to pay for your care you can use these budgets to cover the cost of training your PA’s. You can find out more about how to book any training you need here: DaCE Cumbria training.
Health Education England has also produced a range of materials and resources for health and social care employees on coronavirus / covid-19: Health Education England materials.
Personal Protective Equipment
If you are a disabled person who employs PA’s to support you, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential for protecting both you and your employees from the spread of Coronavirus. It is very important that you adhere to the most up to date guidance in order to prevent transmission of coronavirus to and from your employees.
You can find the latest Government advice on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Personal Assistants here: Coronavirus PPE advice.
A useful illustrated guide has also been produced by Public Health England, which shows care workers in community and social care settings what PPE to wear and when: Illustrated PPE Guide .
The Government has also produced detailed guidance on how to work safely in domiciliary care in England. Detailed guidance and short guides on how to put on and take off PPE are all downloadable: Working safely in domiciliary care in England.
There is also enhanced PPE guidance for people caring for someone involving aerosol generating procedures (AGPs): PPE guidance AGPs.
The video clip below shows how to safely don (put on) and doff (take off) the personal protective equipment (PPE) for non-aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), specific to COVID-19. This guidance outlines infection control for health and social care settings involving possible cases of COVID-19.
More information about PPE use for non aerosol generating procedures is available here: PPE guidance & videos non aerosl generating procedures .
Cumbria County Council have also put together a list of suppliers of PPE:
If you are in receipt of direct payments or a personal health budget and use these for a personal assistant who does not already receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the NHS or other sources then you can access PPE through Cumbria County Council’s Emergency PPE Helpline. The helpline can be contacted between 9.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday and 10.00 to 14.00 at the weekend. The number for the Emergency PPE Helpline is 0800 783 1967.
Other measures you need to take
How to wash your hands properly
Ventilation to reduce infection in the air
Everyone in England can now access tests. If you or someone you live with have any of the symptoms of Coronavirus you must all stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to NHS testing to arrange. Up to date information on the different testing sites in Cumbria and information about how to book a test can be accessed here: Testing sites in Cumbria
Personal Assistants (PA) who support individuals who use Direct Payments or Personal Health Budgets are essential frontline workers. If you are a PA and you have symptoms of coronavirus (you are symptomatic), or if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus recently (you are asymptomatic). In both circumstances you should get tested as quickly as possible. The test is most effective in the first three days of infection; however the test can still be effective for up to five days. If you are a PA and you support someone you can self-register for a test, or be referred by your employer. You can go to a drive through testing centre, a walk through testing centre, or apply for a home delivered test.
More information on the Government’s testing programme and home testing kits can be found here: Government testing programme
Free antibody testing is now available for PA’s and anyone employed in adult social care. It’s a voluntary blood test which detects antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if you have previously had the virus. The results of the antibody test will support academic research and will help to better understand COVID-19 and how it has spread. Antibody testing is available for adult social care staff through local NHS sites, there is also a new at-home antibody test: How to book a test
Cleaning after an outbreak
Guidance on how to clean and disinfect a home after a Coronavirus outbreak has been produced by Cumbria County Council: