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Published 23rd July 2020
Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Portfolio Holder, Adult Social Care and Health, for Devon County Council updates unpaid carers about coronavirus, social care and changes to PPE arrangements in Devon.
Carers in Devon have been resilient and resourceful during the lockdown, and first of all, I want to thank you again for everything you have done to keep our most vulnerable people safe and well.
We know that many carers are anxious about COVID 19, and indeed that many, out of concern for those they care for, have not accepted care workers coming into the home of the person they care for since the lockdown started. This message is particularly for those carers, but it will inform and hopefully reassure all carers in Devon.
Thanks to the way the people of Devon have carefully observed the measures to control COVID 19, right now infection rates are low here, and they never approached the levels we feared they could. Of course, we must continue to be careful to maintain this. However, we know that many carers have not had a break since March. Many carers are telling us they are very tired. Also, some are anxious that because they have managed during the crisis, they will be told they can carry on doing so without help. Some carers have started to come back to us to have services set up again, but many have not.
We want carers to know that eligibility for support is not affected by having managed alone. Of course, some services still have a way to go because of infection control requirements, but subject to these we can talk with carers and the people they care for about setting services up again.
We have learned a lot about providing services in a COVID-safe way during this time. Devon has Beacon Council status for the way social care has controlled the infection in services, and personal care at home has seen much lower rates of infection than anticipated. We have overcome the early difficulties that were experienced with Personal Protective Equipment, and our services can reliably access this.
Carers too can access PPE if they need it, please see full details of the new arrangements from 24th July below.
Testing is available, where required. Care workers know how to provide the service safely, and care agencies want to get back to work. We want carers who need it to have a break.
So while none of us will be 100% safe from COVID-19 until we have an effective vaccine, you might want to consider whether now is the time to ask for any more support and a bit of time off. Carers usually put their needs last, but don’t leave it too long.
If the person you care for uses social care services and you depend on this to have a break, discuss this further with Care Direct 0345 155 007 or email email@example.com
New arrangements – access to PPE in Devon
We are making some changes from 24 July 2020 relating to the distribution of PPE supplies in Devon.
As an unpaid carer you will continue to be able to access the PPE you require from DCC if you are unable to source it yourself. From 24th July this is available during normal office hours only and the out-of-hours availability will cease.
Unpaid carers can continue to request PPE using this PPE request form. Please call the Devon Carers Helpline on 0345 643 4435 if you require support or advice on the use of PPE.
Please note that this is now a generic form for anyone who might need PPE so covers services as well as unpaid carers. Simply complete as much detail as you feel able and do not worry if there are parts you cannot complete, the team that receives the requests will still be able to respond to your request.
You need to allow at least five days’ notice when submitting a request for PPE normally, however if for any reason you urgently require PPE please indicate on the form and we will contact you as quickly as possible.
All local store arrangements for PPE collection will end on 31st July. Instead, deliveries of PPE supplies will be made direct to your home address.
For more information visit: https://www.devon.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-in-devon/document/personal-protective-equipment-ppe-for-carers/