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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Easements to the Care Act during Coronavirus

We are working hard with our partner agencies, so that people most in need, continue to get the care and support they need, if services and support cannot be provided at the current levels, due to staff shortages from COVID-19.

What are easements?

Easements are legal changes that mean Local Authorities do not need to follow all the rules that they normally would under the Care Act.

The guiding principle of the new legislation is that it should only be used when necessary and for the shortest time.

Full details of the measures which local authorities are permitted to take can be found on the Department of Health & Social Care webpage.

The position in Leicestershire around easements

Currently our service providers are doing a great job, they are continuing to operate with existing support and have capacity to take on new work. This means as a Local Authority, we can continue with our duties under the Care Act whilst applying some flexibilities, such as around social distancing guidance.

We don’t currently plan to apply easements to our Care Act duties allowed by the emergency legislation, the Coronavirus Act 2020. However, if in the future we do need to take these steps, we will inform you, and keep these changes to the minimum necessary and for the shortest time needed.

Face to face working

To keep people safe and also to keep our staff safe, we are doing a lot of our work by telephone and video calls. For a lot of people, we can continue to do everything we need to in this way.

For some people though, particularly those with communication needs, we know this is not ideal and we are doing all we can to work around this.

We will continue to visit people where this is necessary, for example where we can’t make sure someone is safe and has the support they need using other methods. When we do this, we will try to keep people and our staff safe by maintaining distance, washing hands and when necessary using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All our staff have access to PPE if they need it.

Changes in support

Some people’s support has changed since the COVID-19 crisis.  For example, where people have told us they would prefer support from a family member rather than a support worker at this time due to concerns. Where people make these requests, we will talk to them about this to make sure that this will meet their needs, and about what to do if their situation changes.

Some people will have had changes to their services because of the need to follow the rules about social distancing and keeping vulnerable people safe. This means that some day centres and other group support services have had to close temporarily. This is to stop the spread of the virus and is not due to staff shortages.

Our day service providers are keeping in touch with people and providing support in different ways, and we have also arranged alternative care and support. We are already planning with our provider services how support might be provided when the Government announces changes about the lockdown and social distancing rules.

Where there have been changes in peoples’ support we are working hard to make sure we stay in touch to review this and look at providing more support when this is needed.

What you should do if you need more support or are worried about support for someone else

If you feel you or someone else needs help from us, or if you want to make a change in the support you are getting then please do contact us in the normal way. If you have an allocated worker you can contact them or if you don’t then please contact our Customer Service Centre.

Contact details

Adult Social Care:
Telephone: 0116 305 0004
(Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm)
Email: adultsandcommunitiescsc@leics.gov.uk    

Emergency Duty Team:
Telephone: 0116 255 1606 
(Evenings, weekends, Bank Holidays)

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