Personal assistants COVID guidance


If you have any concerns about the clients you support, please contact Adult Social Care.

If you are a personal assistant or community-based social care provider with a question about COVID-19 related to your work, please email: Infection control

Vaccinations for personal assistants

COVID vaccination and boosters

You can and book your COVID 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.

To access the scheme, go to a GP practice or  pharmacy and tell them you are a personal assistant.

Proof of eligibility for flu or COVID vaccines

If you are asked to provide proof that you are a personal assistant, you could use:

  • a letter from your employer
  • an ID badge
  • a pay slip

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 to ask for a letter.

COVID-19 testing for personal assistants

Testing guidance for adult social care was updated in August 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.

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 lateral flow test 48 hours after the first test.

Positive results

Anyone who gets a positive lateral flow test 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 5 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 6.

Negative results

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 but received negative results (after taking 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 you have COVID-19 or something else, it is always best to remain off work until you are medically fit to return.

This is particularly important when supporting people who are vulnerable to infection.

Contacts of positive cases

Personal assistants who are contacts of confirmed cases can continue working, but should use infection control precautions. PPE should be worn properly throughout the day.

You no longer need to do any additional testing and can follow your usual testing regime.

If you develop symptoms, follow the guidance 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.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE for personal assistants

The government has been providing free PPE to personal assistants and clients who receive direct payments and employ personal assistants during COVID-19.

Personal assistants can order PPE through the PPE Portal run by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The government has published 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 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday)

PPE and safe practice

Government guidance: PPE, waste disposal and ventilation specific to COVID-19:

COVID-19 supplement to infection prevention and control resource for adult social care

Guidance: other infection prevention and control measures:

Infection prevention and control resource for adult social care

Infection control

Infection control advice for personal assistants

Personal assistants can contact the community-based social care Infection Prevention and Control project with questions about infection control.

If you need advice, 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.

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.

Contingency planning

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.

Protecting your client and others

You must help your client to stay safe, see:

Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19

Attending hospitals

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

Current members

You can update your training online. Please email ASC Training for advice on how to access this.

Other training

See the training page for details of other useful courses.

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