Adult social care COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

Adult social care and our providers in Barnsley are supporting up to approximately 7,000 vulnerable people in their homes and in care settings every day. As the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) progresses, services will be disrupted for the foreseeable future.

We’re following and reviewing government guidance to make sure that we're able to respond to the latest advice. This includes working closely with our partners and providers to make sure they're following infection control advice and continue to deliver safe care. We can then prioritise those most at risk and in need of care and support services. Local authorities and the wider health and care workforce are faced with difficult decisions every day. However, planning for and responding to COVID-19 as it develops will require making difficult decisions under new and exceptional pressures with limited time, resources or information.

To help guide us during this period, the government have published an ethical framework. As more information emerges recommendations may change, so keep up to date with the national guidance on this site as this is updated regularly.

Summary of service offers

The following is a summary of the service offers during this difficult time and would ask for your support during this period.

Our main priorities at this time are:

  • Making sure our most vulnerable people, with care and support needs, are safe and well in the community.
  • Keeping flow through the hospital so that people who are the most unwell can be cared for.
  • Continuing to develop the community responder service that can respond quickly to help people who may be isolated and in need of support.

Care at home

Due to staff shortages and increase in demand, it is highly likely that individual care packages may be affected. This may affect either the frequency or the timing of the visits.

We're doing everything we can to provide essential visits.

Where visits can be covered by family or friends, and where it's safe to do so, families should contact their care providers directly to arrange this. Please follow the latest government guidance.

This advice relates to those individuals where the council has made provisions for care and those who have their own private care arrangements.

We continue to work making sure those most vulnerable in our communities who are self-isolating have access to essentials they need – further work on this is taking place nationally, in South Yorkshire and locally.

Our community responder scheme has been launched and we'll be ensuring that support reaches those who need it the most.

For those who don't have any support networks to help them through this period, our COVID-19 emergency contact centre has launched. Through this, you can request support for a vulnerable person online or over the phone.

Personal budget and direct payment users

We're in the process of contacting people with a personal budget and direct payment to make sure they have relevant arrangements in place.

If a personal assistant falls ill, you can use other personal assistants without the need to contact us. This could be a neighbour, someone else you know or have recruited, or a family member that does not usually live with you.

If this is not possible we can increase your direct payments, to provide you with agency cover until your personal assistant is able to offer care and support to you again. There always remains the option of suspending care and getting a commissioned service.

Residential care and nursing homes

For individuals in residential or nursing homes, we know there are now restrictions in place for visitors to keep residents as safe and well as possible. Providers are following national guidance.

All planned respite care is being reviewed and only critical respite will continue. Please contact your social work team directly if you have any queries. We'll do our best to continue supporting carers as much as possible through our support services.

Day services

We're reviewing day services and are talking with providers on a daily basis. Most day centres have now closed in response to government guidance urging people to stay at home.

We're contacting those people who may be vulnerable to check whether they need additional support, but this will be limited to those most vulnerable and without alternative support. If you have any specific queries, please contact your social work team directly.

Supported accommodation

Supported accommodation providers will be continuing to provide their service, while taking actions necessary to reduce the risk of infection to service users.

We'll also be discussing with providers the arrangements to support individuals if services are significantly disrupted.

PPE (personal protective equipment)

Personal assistants need to ring the supply line and ask them for any information and register themselves on their delivery rota. This service can also direct them to suppliers.

You can call the National Supply Disruption line on 0800 915 9964 or email supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Shared Lives

For many people Shared Lives offers a permanent place to live and therefore national guidance should be followed. For those who access shared lives for respite we'll be reviewing this, and only critical respite will be offered during this time.

For Shared Lives carers who also offer day care, again we'll also be reviewing this situation. Carers who offer day support for more than one person should cease these arrangements – social work teams will be urgently reviewing this to identify any critical needs.

Take a look at national Shared Lives guidance.

Carer support

Barnsley Carers Service delivered by Making Space has suspended group and face-to-face meetings. For people already accessing the service, carers support continues to be available over the phone during the following hours:

  • Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm

If you don’t currently access this service you can still contact them by calling (01226) 288722 or emailing BarnsleyCarers@makingspace.co.uk

Carers assessments will be prioritised and completed over the phone.

Remaining safe and well

While we're working closely with our care providers and other agencies to minimise disruption to our services, we’re also asking for the support of individuals and their families to make sure that together, those who are most vulnerable, can receive the care they need and are effectively safeguarded.

You can keep in touch with South Yorkshire Police and receive alerts by signing up online.

If you're worried about a vulnerable adult

If you're worried and have any safeguarding concerns, you can find out what to do or contact us on (01226) 773300 or outside of office hours on (01226) 787789.

Helpful links