Personal assistants COVID guidance
Vaccinations for personal assistants
COVID vaccination and boosters
The COVID-19 vaccine is now being offered to all adults.
You can find out more and book your vaccination or booster online or by ringing 119.
Free flu vaccination
Personal Assistants are entitled to a free flu vaccination. The best time to have the vaccine is between September and November, before the flu virus starts circulating.
Getting the vaccine will help to protect you, your clients and your family from getting the flu. To access the scheme, go to a GP practice or community pharmacy and tell them you are a PA.
Proof of eligibility for PA flu or COVID vaccines
If you are asked to provide proof, some of the things you could use are:
- a letter from your employer
- an ID badge
- a payslip
We understand that these documents may be difficult for you to get so we can provide a letter of eligibility if necessary.
If you are registered with our Support with Confidence scheme, you will receive an eligibility letter.
Otherwise, you can email PAIPCProtectCovid19@eastsussex.gov.uk to ask for a letter.
COVID-19 testing for personal assistants
Testing guidance for adult social care was issued by the government on 31 March 2022.
You can still order free lateral flow tests (LFTs) through the online government portal:
If you have any issues with ordering test kits, please call 119.
Key changes to testing guidance are that routine asymptomatic testing with LFTs should be completed twice per week and symptomatic testing is now via LFTs.
Symptomatic testing with LFTs
If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 you are advised to:
- stay at home
- take a lateral flow test as soon as you develop symptoms
- take another LFT 48 hours after the first test.
Anyone who gets a positive LFT result is advised to stay at home from the day they test positive or develop symptoms (day 0).
Social care staff with COVID-19 should not attend work until:
- they have had two consecutive negative LFT results (taken at least 24 hours apart)
- feel well
- do not have a high temperature.
The first LFT should only be taken from five days after day 0 (the day symptoms started, or the day the test was taken if no symptoms). Therefore, it may be possible to return to work on day six.
If you had symptoms of COVID-19 and received negative results (two lateral flow tests 48 hours apart), you can return to work providing you are medically fit to do so.
If you feel unwell, whether confirmed COVID-19 or something else, it is always best practice to remain off work until you are medically fit to return.
This is particularly important when supporting people that may be more vulnerable to infection.
Contacts of positive cases
Staff who are contacts of confirmed cases can continue working, but should comply with all relevant infection control precautions. PPE should be worn properly throughout the day.
There is no longer a need to do any additional testing, follow instead your usual testing regime.
If you develop symptoms, follow guidance for staff with symptoms (see above)
If you work with people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 (seek clinical advice as necessary), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and redeployment considered during the 10 days after your last contact with the case.
Information on testing
Watch a video on how to do a lateral flow test.
If you have any queries related to testing, please 119.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE for Personal Assistants
Self-employed and employed Personal Assistants
The government has been providing free PPE to Personal Assistants and to people who receive direct payments and employ personal assistants during COVID-19.
The old way of getting PPE through our grant scheme ended on 31 March 2022.
Now, health and social care workers and volunteers, including PAs, can register for the new Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) PPE Portal.
The portal enables free PPE distribution to eligible primary care, social care and public sector organisations.
Guidance on how to use the PPE portal
If you have any issues, you can phone the customer service team on: 0800 876 6802 (open 7am to 7pm, seven days a week)
PPE and safe practice
Government guidance: PPE, waste disposal and ventilation specific to COVID-19:
Guidance: other infection prevention and control measures:
Infection control advice for personal assistants
PAs can contact the community-based Social Care Infection Prevention and Control project with questions about infection control.
If you want to seek advice or you would like a 1:1 conversation, get in touch. The team are here to help you!
Email: Infection control
You can contact us from Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm and Fridays until 4.30pm.
Other support will include:
- advice sessions with a dedicated Public Health Infection Control Advisor, by phone or by video call
- improved infection control training and resources
- virtual workshops to learn more about infection control and COVID-19 measures
Infection prevention and control e-learning
We have developed a new Infection prevention and control e-learning course.
This course can be used as an introduction to the subject or as a refresher to check your knowledge of the subject.
Join our PA mailing list
Join our mailing list to receive information about infection control and COVID-19. Support with Confidence PAs do not need to sign up as we already have your details on record.
Email Infection control with your contact details: name, address, email address, phone number, employment status (if self-employed /employed) and geographical area of work.
To find out how your information will be used, read our Privacy Notice.
If you cannot provide care for any reason and your service is essential to the client, you must ensure suitable contingency plans are put in place. If your client will be left without vital support, you must report this immediately to Health and Social Care Connect on 0345 60 80 191.
You and your employer should set up contingency plans to ensure that alternative cover arrangements can start immediately. See: Coronavirus – information for people receiving direct payments for more details.
Should I continue providing care?
Protecting your client and others
You must help your client to stay safe, see:
Personal assistants can accompany their employers to appointments to help with their communication and/or to meet their health or social care needs.
See: East Sussex Healthcare Trust for the latest information on hospital visiting, as restrictions differ depending on the ward or site.
Adult Social Care training
New Support with Confidence applicants and members approved since COVID
If you are applying for Support with Confidence accreditation regarding training, please ask for advice as to current requirements by emailing: Support with Confidence
You can update your training online. Please email ASC Training for advice on how to access this.
See the training page for details of other useful courses.
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