Welcome to the November newsletter from the Independent Living Group (ILG).  Providing news for Individual Employers and Direct Payment support staff across the UK.

Creating a space for Personal Assistant Employers to share experiences, get support and unite their voices in order to help shape health and care services.

 

The ILG community wants to unite individual employers across the UK and needs your help? 

Social care is facing many challenges, budgets are under increased scrutiny and PA recruitment is harder than ever since the pandemic and post Brexit.  We don’t think individual employers should face these pressures alone. 
 
If you are an individual employer yourself or you support Direct Payment recipients in a professional capacity please spread the word.  By joining the ILG you will gain exclusive access to the ILG employer Facebook group.  Here you will discover genuine peer support alongside great opportunities to attend bespoke training courses, national conferences, and other events relevant to Direct Payments and employment.  
 
We can make a difference and be heard if we unite as one and share our experiences.  We are stronger together!
 
Join us here to find out more and get involved.

ILG Community Steering Group Update 

The ILG community steering group is keen to meet and forge networks with local peer support groups.
 
We were fortunate to recently attend the DP Peer Support group in Lambeth run by Disability Advice Service Lambeth (DASL) and are also attending similar groups run by REAL, an organisation supporting disabled people in Tower Hamlets and Independent Lives in West Sussex in the coming weeks. 
 
If you run or attend a peer support group for Direct Payment employers and are interested to hear from and meet the ILG steering group, please email – david.ashley@ilgcommunity.com

WALES – Welsh government survey to better understand the PA workforce

Last month we reported that the ILG had supported the University of South Wales and Data Cymru along with others to help develop 2 surveys which aim to better understand the PA workforce in Wales.

We’re pleased to report that both surveys are now live.

Employer

Click here to access the survey if you are an employer of PAs in Wales

PA

Click here to access the survey if you are a PA working in Wales.

Please complete the survey by 12:00 on Monday 6 December. If you would like any further information, or have any difficulty completing the online survey, please email surveys@data.cymru or call 029 2090 9500.

England – Co-designing a survey for individual employers of personal assistants with the LGA

Not to be outdone by their Welsh compatriots the Local Government Association (LGA) in collaboration with TLAP, the London SDS ForumIn-Control, the ILG Community and others are also working on the development of a survey for individual employers in England.   
 
The aim of this survey is to highlight the difficulties people are experiencing around PA recruitment and retention to understand the immediate challenges.  It also hopes to help figure out what support might be needed from local council and central Government, both now, and in the future to ease some of these problems.

We will keep you posted, as and when we know more, and information will also be shared by the ILG community via the ILG employer Facebook group.

Request for help with a research study on getting care and support 

 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have commissioned a non-profit research organisation, Research in Practice, to support their inquiry into how older and disabled adults and unpaid carers can challenge local council decisions about social care and support in England and Wales. 
 
They need to talk to people about trying to challenge decisions around:

  1. Assessment of care or support needs
  2. How or where care or support needs will be met
  3. Changes to care or support needs identified by the council or to their package
  4. Some other decisions (but not on healthcare or which council is responsible) – they can advise which decisions would be appropriate so please email to check

It is important they talk to people who wanted their council to change its decisions about social care or support. They may have got decisions changed, still be trying to or may not have been able to challenge the decisions. This can be from any time since 2018.
Research in Practice are offering a £30 love2Shop voucher to anyone who takes part in the survey and can also give an additional voucher to anyone else who supports them in taking part.

Please see the below documents for more information and if you would like to contribute.

Attendance is free to any individual employer wherever you may be in the UK.

Covid update – Booster vaccine for PAs

 

A reminder that Personal Assistants are eligible to receive the Covid booster vaccine wherever they are in the UK despite the different systems in place in each devolved nation.
 
To book your appointment in England, and for more information, please click here.
 
In Wales local health boards are issuing appointments for the booster in priority order starting with those most at risk of serious illness.  You can find out more here.
 
If you’re in Scotland you can find out more and register here and information about the booster rollout in Northern Ireland can be found here.