At Cornerstone SDS, we understand that the ongoing situation with Coronavirus is worrying for those receiving care or employing Personal Assistants through Self-Directed Support. As an SDS employer, information will have been sent to you directly by email or post about the options available to you if you reach the decision that your Personal Assistant can no longer come into work. We are continually working with the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership to support direct payment employers. Please do not hesitate to contact your SDS Advisor or Law at Work for further information, we are here to help.
Below we have gathered some useful guidance and resources to keep you safe and informed throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.
The current advice to minimise the risk of catching Coronavirus is practicing good hand hygiene, following social distancing guidelines and avoiding touching your eyes, mouth and nose. The NHS have created a very useful video about effective hand washing that you can watch here. To read more about the steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you safe please take a look at the NHS Inform website here.
Self-Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) Statement
SDSS have provided a statement on their website regarding Coronavirus and advice for direct payment employers which you can find here. There is also useful information about identifying your Personal Assistant as a key worker, including a draft letter from the Personal Assistants Network which can be shown to the relevant authorities. To download this letter, please click here.
Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP)
There have been some changes to health and social care services as a result of COVID-19. Aberdeenshire health and social care partnership have updated their website with information about these changes. To contact AHSCP please either email aberdeenshireHSCP@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or phone the social work department on 03456 08 12 06.
NHS Inform are regularly updating their website with the latest guidance and information to keep you safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. This website includes details about making a plan for your care during the pandemic, information about how to care for a fever or cough and resources for your mental wellbeing. You can access this information here. NHS Grampian have created a COVID-19 resources page specific to the Grampian area, please click here to be redirected to their website.
Infection Prevention and Control
There are a number of steps that you can take to prevent infection. Health Protection Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland have created guidance for infection prevention and control in relation to Coronavirus, you can download this here. Please click here to watch a useful video from NHS Scotland about the correct order for donning, doffing and disposal of PPE.
The Scottish Government have produced a wealth of information on Coronavirus which includes advice for the general public, animal owners, businesses and employers, education and children, healthcare workers and carers, funerals, burial and cremation, housing etc. This can be accessed through the Scottish Government website or by clicking here.
The Scottish Government have created specific SDS guidance for option 1 and 2. To read and download the guidance in full, please click here.
Social Work Scotland
In response to the Scottish Government guidance on Self-Directed Support and COVID-19, Social Work Scotland have published frequently asked questions that answer queries from direct payment employers and personal assistants. To read the FAQ's, please click here.
Shielding has been advised for those who are at high risk of developing severe illness from Coronavirus. This is recommended for those who have an underlying health condition to minimise the risks associated with the virus. Shielding means that you are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and should avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks. You will have received a letter from the Government if you are in a group that is recommended to practice shielding.
Please contact your local council if you require assistance while shielding, contact details can be found here. For all up-to-date guidance on what to do while shielding, please refer to the Gov Scot website which you can find here.
Emergency Planning for Carers
Enable Scotland have developed an emergency planning toolkit for both carers and professionals. This resource will help you to create an emergency plan for unforeseen circumstances which can be shared with your family, neighbours, your GP or other professionals involved in your support or the person you care for. You can access the toolkit here.
Health Protection Scotland
Health Protection Scotland have created guidance for social or community care and residential settings in response to COVID-19. This guidance is to support those working in social or community care to give advice to their staff or supported people. You can download this document here.
Rehab4addiction: Guidance for Better Mental Health
Rehab4addiction has created an online resource with useful information, guidance and advice about the steps you can take to manage your mental health during this uncertain time. To access this resource, please click here.
Grampian Assistance Hub
A website and telephone line have launched to provide people across the Grampian area with information on how to access social, practical and emotional support for Coronavirus.
This website is full of up-to-date information for anyone affected by Coronavirus. For further enquiries, there is a phone line operating on 0808 196 3384 (8 am – 8 pm, 7 days a week).
Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD)
The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) have published a series of guided self-help booklets developed to support people who have a learning disability during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can access these booklets on their website here. They have also provided some very useful easy-read documents in partnership with the Scottish Government, you can access these here.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for international public health and is part of the United Nations. WHO is monitoring and responding to the outbreak worldwide, they are another source of reliable and useful information. To access the World Health Organization’s Q&A’s on Coronavirus please click here.