Guide for Personal assistants by p8afbaQP

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									Guide for Personal
    Assistants




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  An essential guide for people considering
        the role of Personal Assistant
Throughout this guide the term ‘employer’ will be used for users of social care
services.

There are a lot of things to think about and consider before you decide that
being a Personal Assistant is for you. We hope that this information will help
with your decision.


The role of a Personal Assistant
The focus of the role is to support the employer to make their life easier and
help them to maintain their independence. Personal Assistants will help to
deliver support to those who need it, and at the same time, employers will
have more choice, control and greater independence in how they live their
lives. You might work with disabled people of any age, including disabled
children or young people, but the important thing is that you will be supporting
them to live as independent a life as possible.

Who are Personal Assistants?
A Personal Assistant may be someone who has worked in the caring
profession (previously called a home carer) or someone who is new to the
role who is interested in this very important and rewarding work. The role can
also be taken by a friend, neighbour or relative not living at the same address
as the employer.


What might a Personal Assistant do?
The Personal Assistant will help the employer to live in the community as
independently as possible. The actual assistance will vary from employer to
employer and from day to day. Tasks may include personal care such as:

Personal Care

Washing – This may be a bath, shower, strip wash at the sink, or a bed bath.
Dressing – Helping people to choose the clothes they want to wear, then
supporting the appropriate stage of dressing each morning and undressing
each evening.
Appearance – Supporting to brush hair, teeth, shave and apply creams and
ointments.
Toileting – Supporting people through the stages of toileting.



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Supporting Mobility

A personal assistant Assisting the employer to move:
From bed to chair, in and out of the bath and shower and In and out of a
wheelchair.
The personal assistant might also use equipment such as hoists, and sliding
sheets to help to transfer and reposition their employer.

Supporting health care needs

- Prompting/administering medications.
- Ensuring that your employer has fluids to drink and appropriate diet.
- Making doctors appointments.
- Maintaining risk free environments (where appropriate).

Domestic duties

Part of a personal assistant’s task may also include domestic duties; cleaning,
cooking and shopping.

Supporting your employer outside of the home

It maybe that your employer will require some support to go out or attend
hospital appointments.     You won’t be able to be available for every
eventuality, which underlines the importance of communication between you
and your employer.

This is not a complete list but gives some idea of the duties you may be asked
to cover.




Background information - why have things changed?
After many years of campaigning the drive for change was brought about
through Disability Rights Groups. It was accepted nationally and locally that
those receiving home care services can begin to lose their independence as a
result of the model of homecare that was being commissioned for them. The
and tended to have to receive support at a time that suited the routines of
domiciliary care agencies rather than at a time that suited their own routines.
There was also very little cope for flexibility or variation in the care plan from
day to day.



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With the new system, employers are assessed by the local authority and
receive an amount of money called a Direct Payment to purchase their own
help. The employer recruits and employs a personal assistant.

Direct Payments enable employers to have more choice, control and greater
independence, but still arrange the support they need. The idea is that
support given is designed with the employer’s full involvement and can be
tailored to meet their own unique needs, with the help of reliable, well trained
personal assistants.




The Personal Assistants Accreditation scheme
People interested in using direct payments have told us about some of the
issues that prevent them going ahead, particularly the difficulty in recruiting
Personal Assistants and their fears about recruiting someone they don’t know.
We know that these fears are shared by families and carers. The recruitment
process can also take a long time, particularly if more than one Personal
Assistant is required.

In order to address some of these issues the Council is funding Community
Links, the umbrella organisation for voluntary organisations in Bromley to set
up a pilot accreditation scheme for Personal Assistants. Community Links will
publicise the role of Personal Assistants and will enable people who are
interested in becoming Personal Assistants and who meet the accreditation
criteria to register on a database of Personal Assistants which will be
available for prospective direct payment service users to view via the internet.
This will assist both future and current users of direct payments as when they
need to recruit a Personal Assistant there will be a pool of potential Personal
Assistants for them to review.

In order to accredit potential Personal Assistants Community Links will carry
out basic employment checks and take up references, so that employing
people from the data base would be a relatively quick process for service
users. The accreditation checks would be:

      Enhanced CRB check                        Eligibility to work in UK

      Insurance                                 Driving Licence

      Training Qualifications (where            Two work related references
       stated)


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Training
Bromley Council funds a programme of training courses for all staff working
with service users living in the community. The courses cover many areas of
care which personal assistants may be required to carry out in the course of
their work, such as;

      manual lifting and handling
      Health and Safety
      First Aid
      Food Hygiene
There is a nominal charge for attendance on the courses which are open to
personal assistants working for employers in receipt of direct payments from
Bromley Council. For some courses, such as manual lifting and handling the
personal assistant might attend with their employer.

Safeguarding Adults

As service users move to more flexible care packages it is important that they
are still protected from potential abuse. Alongside this guide you will have
received a Safeguarding Alerters Guide setting out basic information about
safeguarding Adults.

All PAs are advised to attend the FREE level one Safeguarding and Mental
Capacity Act training courses when taking up employment.


For all enquiries or bookings for training courses please contact;
Mary Nash, Partnership Development Officer, on 020 8313 4205 or by e-mail
Mary.nash@bromley.gov.uk




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