Here is a challenging view by Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance Statement on COVID-19: What Central and Local Government and the NHS Need To Do to Meet Their Responsibilities To Disabled People
LETTER TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES - DIRECT PAYMENT USERS CONCERN
Dear Local Authority,
Reclaim Social Care is a non-party political, coalition of individuals and organisations campaigning for all social support, independent living and care services to be free at the point of use, fully funded through progressive taxation and underpinned by a workforce with good training, qualifications, career structure, pay and conditions.
This video explains all:
We are interested to know what contingency plans you have/or are going to put into place for disabled people in receipt of Direct Payments, especially for those who are over 70 years of age. We note that the latest government guidance talks about self funders, but there appears to be no guidance for people who purchase their own care or support through Direct Payments from the local authority and particularly those who employ their own Personal Assistants, or purchasing their care or support from an agency. We are also concerned about the even more invisible disabled people who are self funders and may be employing their own Personal Assistants. Both these groups of people will be at particular risk of a breakdown in the delivery of their essential support.
Those disabled people with high support needs who require assistance to shower, wash, toileting, dressing etc cannot self-isolate and cannot keep people more than three feet away. The government guidance suggests that care workers and Personal Assistants should continue to provide personal care to people who are symptomatic, but many will decide that this is too much to ask or may be in one of the at risk groups themselves. As a minimum we would ask if the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is to be provided to care providers will be provided to those employing their own care workers and Personal Assistants?
What will be put in place for people who employ Personal Assistants/carers when they have to self-isolate themselves?
In the event that disabled people – through no fault of their own – find themselves without support and accrue money in their account not spent how will this be viewed? There needs to be some mechanism to ensure that they will not find their assessed needs cut.
Will the Local Authorities make sure that Direct Payment employers can pay Statutory Sick Pay and have it reimbursed from HMRC?