Coronavirus - COVID-19
We continue to support our recipients in Scotland and Northern Ireland by applying our award policies more flexibly when we can.
If your care provider or your Personal Assistant (PA) is unable to provide a full service, due to a new outbreak of COVID-19, and you need replacement support because of this, please contact us to discuss by phoning 0300 200 2022 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You may wish to contract with an alternative care provider on a short term, temporary basis, or recruit a PA to provide temporary cover.
ILF Scotland expects recipients to pay PAs at least the Scottish Social Care Wage rate of £10.50 from 1 April 2022 or, in Northern Ireland, the National Minimum Wage of £9.50.
You may be able to employ a friend or family member to act as your PA on a temporary basis but you must get our agreement to do this and the person must be placed on payroll or registered with HMRC as self-employed.
If the person you wish to act as your PA lives in the same house as you, we will consider this on an exceptional basis and only if there is no alternative option. You must discuss this with us first.
These arrangements will be on a temporary basis only due to a new outbreak of COVID-19, to replace the support that ILF Scotland currently pays for. You should make every effort to reinstate your previous support arrangements as soon as possible and tell us when this happens.
PA Identification Letter
We have produced an identification letter to confirm that PAs are key workers and should be able to access priority shopping, pharmacy or childcare so that our recipients continue to receive the support they need. Please download here.
If you need any more information or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us by emailing enquiries@ILF.scot or by phoning 0300 200 2022. At the moment (August 2022), office opening hours are from 9 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. Monday to Thursdays and from 9.a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. You can also visit our website.
Social Care Workers – financial hardship
Social care workers should not experience financial hardship because of COVID-19. If, due to COVID-19, your PA has to take time off work sick or if they have to self-isolate, they should still receive their full, normal, wages. If they only received Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), you can use any unspent ILF awards to top this up to their full pay. If you do not have enough in your ILF Scotland account to do this, please contact us to discuss additional funding to cover this cost for a temporary period.
Personal Protective Equipment
The Scottish Government has issued guidance and advice for PAs and unpaid / family carers who need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You can find more information about this here.
Personal Assistants (PAs)
PAs should contact the NHS National Services Scotland Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020, and the team there will point them towards their local Hub.
Further advice for PAs, which details the situations in which PAs may require PPE can be found here.
A PA will need to have a document stating that they are a PA, when they go to collect the PPE from the Hub, or have it delivered. You can download our Personal Assistant Identification Letter here.
Your PA might also be able to use the identification letter mentioned above or ask their employer, their local Health and Social Care Partnership / Trust or, in Scotland, their local Support in the Right Direction (SiRD) partner organisation, or the PA Network for support in obtaining this document.
If you are an unpaid/family carer and think you require PPE due to your caring role, you should contact your local carers centre who will advise on how to access supplies locally.
A list of local carers centres and young carer services can be found here. If the local carers centre is unavailable, you should call the Social Care PPE Support Centre on 0300 303 3020 for information.
The Scottish Government has published advice for unpaid carers who visit or live with a friend or family member to provide help with personal care such as washing or dressing. The advice details the situations in which unpaid carers may require PPE.
COVID-19 Testing for Personal Assistants (PAs)
The Scottish Government has expanded the provision of COVID-19 testing for PAs. The lateral flow testing kits have been distributed to local PPE hubs and can be accessed there.
If you need advice on where to access your local PPE Hub, then please phone the Contact Centre on 0300 303 3020.
Guidance and training on how to use and access the kits can be found on the Scottish Government’s website here.
You can find more information on COVID-19 testing for PAs in the downloadable file: Testing for personal assistants - March 2021
Northern Ireland – October 2022
ILF recipients in Northern Ireland, who employ PAs, are being asked to pass on a letter about COVID-19 testing arrangements.
Updated COVID-19 Guidance for Northern Ireland
Effective from 1 July 2022
COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance, and public health advice for those with symptoms of respiratory infection
Robin Swann, Minister for Health in Northern Ireland, announced the following regarding advice on COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance, and public health advice for those with general symptoms of respiratory infection.
- COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance (PDF Download)
- LFD Testing for Domiciliary Care and Personal Assistants
- Coronavirus Testing for Staff in Supported Living Settings
Updated advice for Adult Day Care Service Users
Service Users attending adult day care centres are no longer advised to test using a LFD twice weekly but should not attend day care if they have symptoms of a respiratory infection (including COVID-19) and are feeling unwell.
Updated advice for those with a positive COVID-19 test result
Adults with a positive coronavirus test result will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days after the day of the test, or from the day symptoms started.
As a precautionary measure, while people are no longer advised to self-isolate for 10 days, they should avoid contact with individuals who are at higher risk from COVID-19 for the full 10 days - especially individuals with a weakened immune system - to make sure that you are no longer infectious.
Testing to end isolation is no longer advised.
Full details on the updated isolation advice is outlined on NI Direct.
All measures will continue to be kept under review.
Further detail of the list of symptoms of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 and what to do should you develop symptoms can be found on NI Direct.
Download the full written statement to the Assembly by Health Minister, Robin Swann, on 1 July 2022 including details of the Contact Tracing undertaken by the Public Health Agency.