Your November 2020 Direct Payment e-newsletter Changes to Disclosure and Barring Checks for Personal Assistants From Monday 09 November, Independent Lives will no longer be posting paper DBS forms to customers. All of our DBS checks will now be completed online through the Care Check service. Social Services require all PA’s taking a job, to have a DBS check in place no more than 3 months old, before they start working unsupervised. When you employ a new PA, please contact our Information and Advice team to arrange a DBS check. Our advice team will then email you instructions on how your PA can access the Care Check service, alternatively if you have the PA’s email address we can email it to them directly. If your PA does not have access to the internet, please ask them to contact us and we will be able to help. To contact our Information and Advice team, please call 01903 219482 and dial extension 301. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] Order your CARE badge The Department of Health and Social Care is providing CARE badges free of charge to staff employed across the adult social care sector, including those working as Personal Assistants. This is to recognise their critical work, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. For PAs to order a badge, they will need to create a new account on the online ordering services. To do this they need to give their name, delivery address, email address. There is an ‘organisation name’ section, which can be left blank. Please note: CARE badges cannot be ordered by PAs who only care for children. To order your care badge, please click here PA Welcoming Pack We have recently created a PA Welcoming Pack which includes some suggested resources for you to assist with making your new PAs feel welcome in their new role and hopefully aid staff retention. If you are one of our customers and you have a new PA starting work soon, would you be willing to participate in our new scheme? You could be a new employer or have been employing PAs for a number of years. If you would be interested in finding out more, please call 01903 219482, dial extension 301 and ask to speak to either Tyler or Glen or alternatively email [email protected]. West Sussex Sensory Impairment Strategic Needs Assessment Engagement Group West Sussex County Council is working on a Strategic Needs Assessment for sensory impairment. To support this, Healthwatch West Sussex is working with the community to understand the views and experiences of local people of all ages. Healthwatch have set-up an engagement group to work with you to better understand what is working well, what isn’t, and to identify unmet needs. They also want to hear from you on the impact of COVID-19 in relation to sensory services for people. For more information, email Cheryl Berry ([email protected]). COVID-19 antibody testing for personal assistants Antibody testing is now available across England and is being provided free of charge to personal assistants. The antibody test is a voluntary blood test which detects antibodies to the COVID-19 virus to see if you have previously had the virus and will inform government research. You cannot take the test if you currently have symptoms or have been advised to take the COVID-19 test. To find out more, please view ‘Antibody Testing – Personal Assistants’ on the Skills for Care information Hub by clicking here.