Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We have made a list of questions we are most often asked. We will update these regularly.
Question: Can I get a Coronavirus/Covid-19 test for me and/or my personal assistant?
Answer: Yes, if you or your personal assistant has the symptoms below you can get a test. Symptoms are:
-A high temperature
– A new, continuous (keeps happening) cough
– If you feel you have lost your sense of taste or smell
To get a test for your personal assistant (and anyone they live with) they will need to use the government’s self referral portal for essential workers https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#how-to-arrange-a-test
To get a test for yourself, you will need to register using the NHS page www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
If you can’t use the website you can use the new NHS phone service to arrange a test by calling 119.
Question: I am confused by the changes to the lockdown rules. What has changed?
Answer: We understand that you may be anxious about these changes are working to try to find out more information and advice for people who are shielding due to a disability or long term health condition. We will update this here when we can.
From 13 May 2020, the government have changed the rules so that:
– You are allowed to be outside as much as you like for exercise, rather than just once a day.
– You can meet up with one other person from outside your household (the people you live with) as long as you stay 2 meters apart from each other.
– You can also drive to places that are publicly accessible to exercise
-If you are ‘shielding'( staying away from people) because you are ‘clinically vulnerable’ (more likely to become seriously ill from Coronavirus) the advice is still to stay at home as much as possible.
The full guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing
Question: Can I furlough my Personal Assistant?
‘Furlough’ means that your employee will not work for a period of time, and instead 80% of the money they would normally get will be paid by the government.
The government would not expect you to furlough your personal assistant. This is because a personal assistant provides an essential service and so is known as a ‘key worker’. This means that they will be still be able to come to work and to use childcare as normal.
Question : What if my Personal Assistant is off sick and cannot get a sick note?
Answer: Please write down the dates your personal assistant was off sick and let your payroll provider know these dates by email. Your Personal Assistant can give you a sick note at a later date. Please keep the sick note with your Direct Payment records.
If your Personal Assistant is self- isolating because of coronavirus symptoms they do not need a sick note and will get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as normal.
Question: Can I get Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for my Personal Assistant?
If you or anyone one who lives with you has symptoms of coronavirus this can be provided free of charge. If your Personal Assistant normally gets PPE to support you, this should continue.
If your direct payment contains funding to purchase PPE for your Personal Assistant, you should continue to use that funding to purchase PPE.
If you live in Lancashire there is a supply of PPE available at the office of our partner, Disability Equality North West. You can contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in Cheshire, please contact your Arrangement of Care and Support Adviser at CCIL who will be able to help you.
If you live in Bolton, we will update details as soon as we can.
More FAQs for people who employ Personal Assistants can be found on the Skills for Care website (you will need to click the link that says ‘Download COVID-19 FAQs’.) These FAQs are updated regularly.
Our services during the coronavirus outbreak
We are here to help, so please let us know if you are struggling. We will do our best to help you.
Our services will not be doing any home visits until further notice although we can still support you by phone or by video phone (For example, Facetime).
Please call us on 01606 331 853 if you need any support.
All community engagement activities including Good Company, Buzz Group and other sessions will not be running in person until further notice.
We are doing wellbeing checks with all of our customers, to check that you are ok and if you need anything.
You can also follow us on Facebook for useful updates on how to keep busy and safe whilst staying at home.
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 or coronavirus is a new illness that has infected many people around the world.
An easy read guide to coronavirus is available here, produced by inclusion north
If you have it, you may have a fever (high temperature) and a cough. Sometimes this can get worse and become severe pneumonia (a chest infection) which can make it difficult to breathe.
If you have a long term health condition, are older, or have a weakened immune system, coronavirus can be much more serious.
The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You’ll be given advice about what to do.
Do not contact your GP unless you are not well.
Links to advice on coronavirus
Below are links to general advice and information
These links are to information or support not managed by CCIL but may be useful:
- Coronavirus overview – nhs.uk website
- Frequently Asked Questions for people who employ a Personal Assistant -Skills for Care website
- Easy read guide to coronavirus
- Coronavirus: NHS Advice – nhs.uk website
- Coronavirus: latest information and advice – GOV.UK website
- Cheshire West and Chester Council Coronavirus information
- Cheshire East Council Coronavirus Information
- Lancashire County Council Coronavirus Information
- Government advice on Coronavirus for supporting living and home care gov.uk website
- Advice on Coronavirus for carers from Carers UK
- Facebook support group ‘The Bunker’. This is a support group for disabled people who are self isolating and employ a personal assistant.
- Disability Rights UK
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