Coronavirus advice if you receive care and support
We know that many people rely on care from someone else – either formally arranged through our social care service, sometimes through a direct payment or informal help from family and friends.
We understand that people will be worried about their care being disrupted due to the current coronavirus issues.
What are we doing?
We are working very closely with all agencies across the city and have plans/support in place to help people if their usual arrangements are disrupted.
Advice and guidance, and the expectations on councils, is changing daily. You may find the answers to your queries below.
Where do I go for general advice about keeping myself and my carers safe?
Up to date advice, with specific guidance notes for carers, is available at GOV.UK.
Are care providers prepared for this situation?
We are working very closely with our providers and ensuring they have all the up to date information and support to continue to deliver services. We have plans in place to manage any pressures so that essential care (such as staying safe, keeping clean and nourished) is maintained. We have a dedicated contact point for providers to raise issues with us.
Will carers have the right protective equipment?
Gloves and aprons are routine equipment used by all providers of care. All registered care providers will have access to masks, to ensure full personal protective equipment by 24 March 2020, if they do not already have these.
We must stress that in line with public health advice, masks do not need to be worn to protect you from infection. No carer will be at work if they have, or have been in unprotected exposure, to someone who has symptoms of coronavirus.
Masks are supplied so that carers can protect themselves, and avoid infecting others, if they need to provide close care to someone who is unwell with coronavirus-type symptoms. Please do not expect your carer to be wearing a mask routinely. That is not necessary and would be wasteful of essential supplies.
All carers are being rigorous in following good hygiene advice, carrying soap and hand towels, washing hands on arrival and before leaving the home, for at least 20 seconds.
We are working with the government to ensure carers not employed by a registered agency can access protective equipment if needed. Anyone worried about access to equipment because they are providing care to someone who is ill, should send us an email.
What if my usual carer cannot work?
If you are worried about your care – either because you are unwell or your carers are unavailable – you should talk to your care provider in the first instance.
Care providers are making sure that their contingency plans are as robust as possible. They will try to provide alternative carers where your usual carer is not available. We have reassured care providers that they do not need to worry about the costs of extra staff, as we will fund this. Care providers will alert us if they cannot provide care as usual and we will ensure that any essential calls are covered.
What if I have a direct payment/personal assistant or arrange my own care?
We have a duty of care towards anyone who needs essential adult social care, regardless of how this is currently arranged. We are working with our direct payment support providers, to look at how we help people with personal assistant arrangements.
If you arrange your own care, and if you experience any problems and cannot make alternative arrangements yourself, you should contact us on 0116 454 1004.
Please be aware that our phone lines will be very busy. Please use the national guidance for people receiving direct payments from GOV.UK or NHS.UK for general advice so that people who are in urgent need of help can get through to us.
My family or friends usually help me but cannot do this at present – what should I do?
If you are concerned that you will not get essential help with staying safe, keeping clean or getting meals, please ring us on 0116 454 1004.
I usually go to a community group – what happens if this is closed?
If we arranged (including via a direct payment) for you to attend a daytime group, we are aware that these are closing due to the need to help people with social distancing.
All providers are continuing to be paid, so that they can use their staff to support people who usually attend in different ways. For example, keeping in regular phone contact, helping support family carers and with practical tasks such as shopping or medication collection. Please talk directly to your provider about this.
Care and support helpline
We have a dedicated helpline if you have any queries about care and support issues due to the coronavirus outbreak.