Following the announcement from The Department for Health & Social Care, unpaid carers in the Dorset Council area can now request free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for when they are carrying out their caring responsibilities. There is a focus on extra-resident carers (those who live outside of the household of the cared for person).
Unpaid care is care that is delivered by a family member or friend for those who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.
Unpaid care includes a range of activities including delivering personal care such as washing, dressing, and feeding as well as help with laundry, cooking, shopping, and cleaning.
Unpaid carers who provide essential care for someone who lives in another household can continue to do so under all local and national restrictions. It is crucial that this care is essential care only.
Dorset Council will be the first point of contact for enquiries about this and will register carers PPE needs.
Carers who will be able to request free PPE;
- Extra-resident unpaid carers (i.e. those who don’t live with the person they care for);
- Co-resident unpaid carers (i.e. those who reside with the person they care for);
- Unpaid carers who are caring for a clinically extremely vulnerable person
Type of PPE available – consider the need and recommended use of:
- Care can be provided on the doorstep (e.g. dropping off shopping/prescriptions) No PPE required
- Carer must enter the house to provide care but can maintain a distance of 2 meters from the person they are providing care to. Mask only.
- Carer must enter the house to provide care and cannot maintain a distance of 2 meters but will not be providing personal care or moving/handling the person they care for. Gloves, apron, mask.
- Carer will be undertaking personal care such as washing, dressing, feeding, moving and handling. Gloves, apron, mask. Eye protection if there is a risk of direct or indirect fluid splash such as coughing, spitting or shower splash.
Cllr Simon Gibson, lead member for care at Dorset Council said:
“It’s great news that PPE has now been made available free of charge to all unpaid carers. While the roll-out of the COVID vaccines has been going well, we’re not out of the woods yet.
“We understand this is still a worrying time for many people and the use of PPE is recommended wherever possible to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. Unpaid carers do an amazing job and I am pleased that PPE has been made available for free, please do check the website to find out more.”
A standard package of PPE is available which includes visors, aprons, face masks, hand sanitiser, and gloves.
To request your PPE, complete our online form at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/UnpaidcarersPPE or call us on 01305 221000. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. Delivery options are available for those who cannot collect or do not have someone they can ask to collect on their behalf. Deliveries will be made by volunteers and we will aim to get packages out within two working days.
Caring takes on many forms and you may not even identify yourself as a carer, but the caring you do entitles you to information, advice, and support. It is really important that when you’re caring for someone that you look after yourself too.
Caring can be very rewarding, but without the right support it can have a negative impact on your health, career, finances, or relationships.
You may have found that your caring role has become more challenging due COVID-19, or you may have taken on new caring responsibilities.
Carer Support Dorset is the first point of contact for advice and support to all age, unpaid carers across the Dorset Council area. Their aim is to create carer friendly communities where carers are recognised, valued, and supported. Contact them on freephone 0800 368 8349, or view their website www.carersupportdorset.co.uk.