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It is even more vital that families and carers have an opportunity to stay connected during this uncertain time and period of isolation. To reassure you, we will be continuing with Peer Support Network activities and meet-ups virtually.

Weekly online drop-ins – Wednesdays 2 – 4pm 

This is a safe space for families and carers to share their current situation and raise concerns regarding access to support and services during this period. We will also discuss practical solutions for coping day-to-day and supporting positive well-being.

Our Community Networks Coordinator, Esther will be facilitating the drop-in meeting via Zoom software. For a link and instructions on how to join the meeting email [email protected]

If you have ideas for how we can support each other, minimise stress and promote positive-wellbeing, please contact [email protected]. You can also join the Peer Support Network Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PSNPAW/.

Useful information and resources to support you during Covid-19

We will continue to update this with relevant information. If you would like to share useful resources, contacts and information, please get in touch with Esther – [email protected]

Access to Personal Protective Equipment

The need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for support teams and PAs is paramount. The current NHS guidance states that PPE is only necessary for when the individual supported is displaying symptoms. Support teams should wear PPE as a preventative measure to not only protect themselves but the individual supported, especially those with underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable and at risk.

Until recently PPE was only being distributed to CQC registered providers. The CCG has confirmed that there is a small supply of mutual aid PPE in a warehouse and they will distribute what they have. Non-registered services and personal assistance can contact PPE lead for the Sussex Health and Care Partnership: Glynn Dodd [email protected]

Identification for Support Workers and PAs 

For individuals receiving Continuing Healthcare, a template letter is avaialable on Sussex CCG headed paper to verify your support teams. Please email [email protected] for a copy. We will be contacting East Sussex for a similar headed letter template for those who directly employ PAs via Direct Payments.

Challenging Behaviour Foundation information sheets and resources

CBF continue to compile vital resources for families and carers supporting people with complex support needs and behaviours that present as challenging. In light of the changing picture for disability rights under the Coronavirus Bill, they are currently working with a team of lawyers and barristers to put together guidance on what this means for families. https://www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/cbf-articles/latest-news/guidanceforfamilies.html

COVID Emergency Aid groups

Find your local aid group. Support may include shopping, deliveries and collecting medication etc.  https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/

Open Inquiry – Unequal impact: Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on people with protected characteristics

The Women and Equalities Committee is launching an inquiry to find out the different and disproportionate impact that the Coronavirus – and measures to tackle it – is having on people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act. This includes people with learning disabilities.

Submit your views by 30th April: https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/94/unequal-impact-coronavirus-covid19-and-the-impact-on-people-with-protected-characteristics/

My Care Passports

The My Care Passport is a tool that can be used to give hospital staff an overview of how a person communicates, their likes and dislikes alongside medical needs. In case of hospital admission, with the current pressures on staffing within the NHS, these documents are vital in giving a picture of a person’s total communication needs in a snapshot. It does not however replace key worker and trusted family input. We will continue to look at how people with complex needs are best supported in case of emergency hospital admission.

To download a template visit: http://www.surreyhealthaction.org/assets/files/My%20care%20passport%20-%20enabled%20adobe%20reader%202.pdf

Emergency Planning

Practical resources to help family carers of people with learning disabilities worried about getting ill/ changes to support arrangements. Covers what to put in place and actions for gathering information. We will be running an online Peer Support session walking through this document. Details will be announced soon. https://www.togethermatters.org.uk/resources-and-information/

Guidance for Family Employers

Information and guidance for people employing support workers and the Government Job Retention Scheme via Independent Lives, covering self-employed, employed and zero hour contracts. https://www.independentlives.org/coronavirus

Image: Michelle Roberts, Toy Story, 2016, brush pen on canvas, 92 x 122cm

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