Shropshire Council

Coronavirus-related FAQs

General

How do I keep up to date with national guidance and information as it changes regularly?

To sign up to receive national alerts and updates regarding Coronavirus COVID 19 visit the Gov.UK website.

Where can I find information from our local councils?

The councils will be hosting information for care providers, public and other businesses on their websites available here:

Where do I find out about staff returning from travel abroad?

For queries regarding staff returning from holidays overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), take a look at the national guidance.

What is the up to date guidance for the public?

Gov.UK - Covid 19 information for the public

Is there any concern over fuel shortages?

There are no current concerns regarding fuel supplies

Funding and pay

What do I pay my PAs if they have to self-isolate due to symptoms associated with the coronavirus (COVID 19)?

The council has agreed locally to pay PAs full pay for a period of up to four weeks. This is different to national guidance. If you do not have the money available in your direct payment to pay your PA plus any additional provision while one or more PA is self-isolating or poorly with the virus contact, call First Point of Contact 03456789044 as there is provision for contingency payments.

Care and Support

If we have a situation where we cannot source support what should I do?

We’d like you to think about ‘what if’ and have contingences for example:

  • Could the level of support currently offered be reduced or stopped?
  • Could a PA support in a different way that doesn’t require physical attendance at the place of work?
  • Could technology help – for example Skype conversations?

We need to understand the impact of this on you and your family, and if any additional care is required please contact your social care team directly, or First Point of Contact – 0345 678 9044.

If it's out of hours, please inform Shropshire Council Emergency Duty Team (EDT) – 0345 678 9040.

It is my responsibility to provide my PAs with PPE, including fluid repellent surgical masks which I am not able to source. What help is available?

The following statement has been released by Public Health England:

We know that supplies of personal protective equipment to the care sector is fundamental for the good care of individuals with suspected symptoms of Covid-19. We are clear that no wholesaler has been asked to prioritise NHS provision over the care sector nor should they be doing so. 

We have requested that a stock of PPE equipment is made available from the local authority and Department of Health and Social Care for PAs – when we have sourced the equipment we will make it available in council offices for PAs/family members while stocks last.

I’m concerned about struggling to source cleaning and/or other supplies, can you advise?

Please refer to guidance on infection control, including information about what cleaning products can be used to maintain basic hygiene (see 'What are the arrangements if I or a member of my family tests positive with the coronavirus (COVID 19)?' - below)

When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops.

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.

What are the arrangements if I or a member of my family tests positive with the coronavirus (COVID 19)?

Please refer to advice given in Guidance for Residential Care, Supported Living and Home Care.

This is an evolving situation and we are working across multiple agencies to ensure that people are safe and well cared for in every situation, including our care staff across the county. Updates will be posted here as soon as they become available

What do I do if I or a member of my family has symptoms associated with coronavirus (COVID 19), but they have not been tested or confirmed e.g. someone is prone to chest infections and currently has a cough, but has not been tested?

Where PPE is required but not available please think about whether you can be supported by family members, or manage with remote support, such as telephone support. It will be a conversation between you and your PA(s) whether they are willing to continue supporting you.

In the event of increasing numbers of people 'self-isolating' do the councils have any contingency support to offer resources or financially to cover this period?

We're looking at options around urgent response solutions.  Situations will be looked at on an individual basis so contact your social care team or the First Point of Contact in the first instance that you are struggling to manage with your current support. 

Current guidance recommends that employers undertake risk assessments with staff who are themselves in the higher risk group. Additional risk assessment for supporting employers in their own homes may also be required, especially where customers are high risk and/or present with symptoms. Is there a particular risk assessment that we should be using?

We do not have a specific risk assessment template that we would like you to use. As risk assessments are specific to individuals and situations, we would expect employers to use their own format or adapt existing risk assessment paperwork to suit their own organisation. We are developing a simple generic risk assessment which will be published here as soon as it is available.

If an employee does not want to go to work

Some people might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus.

An employer should listen to any concerns staff may have. If there are genuine concerns, the employer must try to resolve them to protect the health and safety of their staff. For example, if possible, the employer could offer flexible working.

If an employee still does not want to go in, they may be able to arrange with their employer to take the time off as holiday or unpaid leave. The employer does not have to agree to this.

If an employee refuses to attend work, it could result in disciplinary action.

Can I employ a family member who lives in my household to provide care as an “exceptional circumstance” during the COVID 19 crisis?

In the event that your usual PAs are unable to provide care for a short time, and you are unable to arrange contingency plans ie. Phone support, family members, reduced support etc, please contact your social care team or First Point of Contact 0345 678 9044 to help with finding alternative support.

If after all alternative options are exhausted, a member of your social care team will discuss your individual situation and agree a timescale for the exceptional circumstances to be in place to allow a household member to support you for a short time.

If you are self-isolating as a household this will be for up to 14 days. Your PA is still able to carry out some tasks such as shopping, errands, medication delivery etc.

You will need to provide your family members details to your payroll provider to set them up as an employee. If your family member is school age legal restrictions to hours of employment apply.

I need my PA to pick up my groceries and medication for me. Can I provide my PA with identification if they need to prove that they are a paid carer providing support if social distancing measures become more stringent?

We advise that you do as much shopping online as possible and arrange your pharmacy to deliver medication. This is not possible in all situations, so we are working on a solution. Updates will be posted here as soon as they become available.

Other useful information