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Supporting health and social care providers in Devon

Personal Assistants and Microproviders


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Key information

If you have any specific issues or questions that you would like to raise please do so as follows:

Interested in becoming a PA, or just started?

If you are interested in this career path but not sure where to begin, Skills For Care have created a useful document with all of the information you will need to begin your journey. To find out about support and resources available to you as a PA (or potential PA) in Devon please read this information pack. If you have any further questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, please contact: socialcarebusinessrelations-mailbox@devon.gov.uk

Advertising your service and finding new clients

PinPoint

This is a website where PAs can register their services, and clients/their family/professionals can lookup available PAs in their area to support them. To find out how to register on PinPoint as a PA please visit the website. Clients can also post and search for PA vacancies, so this is a useful tool in both directions.

PA shout outs

The Market Management Team send out an email newsletter when they are alerted to an available package of care, these are called ‘PA shout outs’. You can sign up to receive these alerts for all of Devon, or you can narrow it down to specific market towns. These adverts are also shared in the PA WhatsApp groups.

PA and Microprovider WhatsApp groups

There are WhatsApp groups for PAs split into North, East and South Devon. Here you will find adverts of available packages of care as well as important DCC updates and events for PAs. This is a place to connect PAs together, sharing advice and top tips as well as alerting each other to packages that are available or need cover.

If you would like to join a WhatsApp group, please ensure you have read the PA WhatsApp guidance. When you make your request to join, please ensure you have downloaded the WhatsApp application onto your mobile beforehand. Please use the list below to tell us which of the three groups (you can join more than one) you would like to join and send it to us: socialcarebusinessrelations-mailbox@devon.gov.uk. We’ll need your full name and a mobile number.

WhatsApp groups Market towns
Zones 1 & 2 – Northern WhatsApp group Bideford, Northam, Holsworthy, Great Torrington, Ilfracombe, Braunton, Barnstaple, South Molton, Lynton/ Lynmouth
Zones 3, 4 & 5 – Eastern WhatsApp group Cullompton, Tiverton, Crediton, Exeter, Sidmouth, Honiton, Ottery, Seaton, Axminster, Exmouth
Zones 6,7 & 8 – Southern WhatsApp group Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Newton Abbot, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Totnes, Dartmouth, Tavistock, Kingsbridge, Ivybridge, Okehampton, Mortenhampstead

Community Catalysts

Devon County Council is working with a national social enterprise called Community Catalysts to support the development of community micro-enterprises (under 8 staff/volunteers) and use of Personal Assistants. This work will take place over the next two years and will initially focus on the area covering Teignmouth, Dawlish, Starcross, Exminster, southern Exeter, across to Pathfinder village and as far as Tedburn St Mary.

The service is free for PAs to use as it has been funded by the council. The support offered by the project includes help with:

  • rules and regulations
  • policies, procedures and contracts
  • practical requirements
  • signposting to training
  • marketing and other assistance to help micro-enterprises/PAs to develop, expand or diversify.

For further information you can contact Alex Woolaway (Project Lead in Devon) on 07741260674 or alex.woolaway@communitycatalysts.co.uk

Follow them on Twitter @commcats

‘Like’ them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/commcatsdevon

DBS checks

PAs cannot access this service themselves; the process is that you need to ask your client (Direct Payment clients only) or their appropriate adult to request the DBS check by speaking to their local Arranging Support team at the Council, who will be able to assist in arranging the DBS check on their behalf.

If you have recently got a DBS in place, it is useful to sign up to the DBS update service as this allows you to keep your DBS certificate up to date and allows any new client/employer/DCC to check your DBS certificate online. There is an annual fee of £13 for this service.

If you are a self-employed PA providing care to non-direct payment clients (private customers not funded by DCC) then you are still expected to have a DBS however this would not be sourced through the DCC Arranging Support Teams. There are a few different services in the community that offer DBS checks for PAs (some free or at a small cost). We recommend you search around for the best service to suit your needs. For example, Independent Living Group.

Training opportunities

If you are interested in learning new skills or developing your career, there is lots of training available for PAs:

Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP)

The Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP) provides free and flexible courses

provides fully funded training to support and develop people in a caring role, whether caring for a relative or family member or in a paid capacity. From short workshops to qualifications, face to face training, or online learning there is something for everyone. These courses are designed to give you knowledge, skills and confidence to support you in your role.

The courses are delivered by Learn Devon and colleges across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay; they have friendly and knowledgeable teams who can provide you with information and guidance about what course might be right for you. Click on a college link below to find out more.

If you would like to know more please contact the Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme team Email: admin.hssap@devon.gov.uk  Phone: 01392 383298 (ref. HSSAP)

For the latest Health and Social Care Training visit devon.cc/hssap or sign up to our monthly e-Bulletin for regular updates & offers at devon.cc/hssaptraining

Fully funded eLearning courses for PAs

Grey Matter Learning is an award-winning eLearning provider in the social care sector. They are a recognised Skills for Care ‘Centre of Excellence’. You can access over 100 social care eLearning courses, all in one place! DCC have partnered with Grey Matter Learning to provide fully funded social care courses for all Devon providers in 2022 including regulated, unregulated, private, independent, and personal assistants.

If you would like to know more and to create an account please contact Ruth Haynes on ruth.a.haynes@devon.gov.uk

Living Options Devon – free learning and development of PAs

Free Learning and Development for Devon PAs and Individual Employers. These are both on and offline courses, funded by Skills for Care and are free to attend for personal assistants in Devon, Torbay, and Plymouth area. To find out more about each course and book your place please go to the Living Options Devon website. Courses include disability awareness, Deaf awareness, and autism essentials. You can even gain a Level 2 food safety certificate in your own time online. Also available is a work-based Level 3 Care Specialist certificate. The courses are free to attend for qualifying PAs and you can sign up to as many as you like.

Need assistance booking onto this course? Email info@livingoptions.org Tel: 01392 459222

Wellbeing support for PAs

The Employee Assistance Programme is available for all adult social care providers including Personal Assistants. The programme in Devon is called CiC and it provides free and confidential information, support, and counselling service available 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year. Whether you’re after practical advice or emotional support with work or personal issues, CiC can offer expert guidance. They can support with topics such as:

  • Managing pressure
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Marital, family and relationship difficulties
  • Stress, anxiety,and depression
  • Bereavement
  • Family care
  • Debt and financial support
  • Legal and tax advice
  • Work/life balance issues

You can access the service by calling the free phone number 08000851376 or emailing assist@cic-eap.co.uk

You can also access the Well Online wellbeing website. Here there is a range of support available plus videos and a wide selection of help sheets and articles written on topics that relate to you and your own wellbeing. Username: ascdevon Password: wellbeing

PAs working together as a group

Devon PAs are making a valuable contribution to their communities in providing personalised care to local people. We are aware that some PAs organise themselves to work together in groups.

We would advise those working in this way to ensure that they are not working beyond the exemptions that exist for PAs in relation to CQC registration.

The guidance about ‘ongoing direction and control’ can be found on the CQC website . We would advise any PAs that are working together to review this guidance as they may inadvertently find themselves in scope and required to register.

Further useful information on this issue can also be found on the Skills for Care website: PA working and CQC registration (skillsforcare.org.uk)


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