Charities launch emergency social care support service

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 25th March 2020

Charities launch new database to source emergency social care support for people across Scotland.

The Scottish Personal Assistant Employers’ Network (SPAEN) has launched a new emergency service to support people in receipt of social care in their own homes and communities.

In partnership with PA Network Scotland, SPAEN will register any individual who either employs their own carer or any carer who may wish to offer their support and services to people in urgent need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Around 3,000 people in Scotland currently employ their own Personal Assistants (PAs) directly to meet their social care needs, an alternative to agency or statutory service provision. As they commission their own support privately and have the responsibilities of being an employer, they face the risk of sudden disruption to their support arrangements just at the point social care in Scotland is facing being stretched to breaking point.

Recognising the risks, SPAEN chief executive Colin Millar said: “People employing their own PAs have the same urgent needs as other social care users in Scotland but they are often forgotten when it comes to contingency and emergency planning because they’re not on the care agency or local authority ‘rotas’.

“It is vital that someone ensures these people and their needs are considered and represented and that we do all we can to support the efforts of local authorities and communities to protect those who are most at need of help.

“These short-term arrangements may also suit people who have been placed on short-term leave from their current work and are worrying about how they are going to pay the bills. It’s a community approach and a community response to a community crisis.”

Anyone wishing to register should call 01698 250280 or e-mail

Hear more advice from Colin about social care support and PA employment during COVID-19 via an ALLIANCE Live podcast here. 

Please note this information is accurate at the date of publication of this ALLIANCE news item, 25 March 2020.


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