News & Blog News Your September 2020 Direct Payment e-newsletter Updated Personal Budget & Personal Health Budget Government Guidance On Friday 11 September, the Government updated their COVID-19 guidance for Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups in the delivery of Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets. An easy-read document outlining this guidance is not currently available, but will be produced as soon as possible. Please note this guidance does not have new advice. It sets out key expectations to support people’s continuing care and support needs, continued flexibility in the use of payments, and information to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. To view the guidance, please click here. Employer Training Events 2020 Do you employ Personal Assistants with your Direct Payment? Would you like to refresh your knowledge on employment law and find out about new changes? Then join us for one of our free online Employer Training sessions! We’re running sessions on the following subjects:• Induction & Managing Staff• Recruitment• Health & Safety• Disciplinary & Grievance• Personal Assistant Absence & Holiday• Safeguarding You can sign up in three ways: Call us on 01903 219482 Email us at [email protected] Visit the following website: https://cutt.ly/ETS Chatty Cafes The Chatty Café Scheme was created in 2017 to reduce loneliness and social isolation. The scheme is very simple: café’s and other similar venues around the country designate a ‘Chatter and Natter table’ where customers who are happy to talk to others can sit. Over 1,400 venues have signed up to the scheme in the UK. If you fancy having a chat, you just need to visit the Chatty Café website, enter your postcode or town into “find my table” on the website and it will bring up all the venues participating in your area. To find out more about the Chatty Café scheme or to find a venue in your area, please click here. Government announces housing accessibility consultation The Government has launched a consultation on the accessibility of new homes. Currently, the minimum standard for accessible housing in England has four main criteria: level access to the main entrance, a flush threshold, sufficiently wide doorways and circulation space, and a toilet at entrance level. The consultation is seeking views on how to raise accessible housing standards, including the option to raise minimum standards for all new homes. It would also include further features to make homes more easily adaptable over time. The consultation closes on 1 December 2020. To contribute to the consultation, please click here. NHS and care workers to get 250,000 clear masks to help people with hearing loss and dementia NHS and care workers will be given clear face masks to help them communicate with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, autism and dementia, the government has announced. The masks are see-through and have an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth are always visible to help doctors, nurses and carers communicate better with their patients. The masks will help those who need to lip read or rely on facial expressions to support communication. The Government said the masks will be delivered to NHS trusts and social care providers in the next few weeks, with deliveries already on the way. All four countries in the UK will receive an allocation of the masks and deliveries have already begun. The Government have said that if the clear masks prove to be successful, then they will increase the supply to ensure that there is a clear mask available whenever one is needed.