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North East Carers Survey

08th April 2021

If you’re one of the thousands of people across the North East who helps look after relatives, friends and neighbours in their own homes, we’d like to hear from you. 

You might help an elderly relative with their shopping, meals or keeping their home spick and span – or it might be even more personal care, like dressing, bathing or with their medicines.

You might help an adult with learning impairments in living a fulfilling and independent life out in the community.

Or you might be providing support for a friend or neighbour who is facing difficulties with addiction.

Whatever the kind of care you provide, and whoever it is for, this survey will help us understand the issues and challenges you face, so that we can support you better. The care you provide is invaluable, so thank you for everything you do.


Complete the survey online here:


The survey runs from now until 14th May. 


Shielding guidance is being paused for clinically extremely vulnerable people

22nd March 2021

The government has announced that shielding guidance is being paused. From Thursday 1 April, clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people are no longer advised to shield. CEV people must continue to follow the national restrictions that are in place for everyone.

From Thursday 1 April, all CEV children should attend early years provision, school, college, wraparound childcare and out-of-school settings, unless they are one of the very small number of children under paediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend.

CEV students who are enrolled in practical, or practice-based (including creative arts) courses should return to in-person teaching.

CEV staff are advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if they cannot work from home, they should now attend their workplace.

Where parents, carers, staff, or students are anxious about attendance, you should speak to them about their concerns and discuss the protective measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk and any additional measures that could be put in place.

Unpaid Carers - covid vaccine

22nd March 2021

Unpaid carers are now being invited to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination, providing they:
• Are eligible for a carer’s allowance
• Are identified as a primary carer by their GP
• Are receiving support following a carer’s assessment by their local council or from a local carer’s organisation
• Are the sole or primary carer who provides close personal care or face to face support for an elderly or disabled person who is clinically vulnerable to COVID-19

Carers will be contacted in phases, starting with those carers already known to health and social care services. Those who are identified as a primary carer on their GP’s register or eligible for a carer’s allowance will be invited first, followed by those who have had a statutory carer’s assessment by their local council or are receiving support from local carers organisation.
All eligible unpaid carers will be contacted by the NHS when it’s their turn to receive the vaccine and will be given information about how they should book their appointment. This will either be at a vaccination site in their local community supported by their GP practice, or at a large vaccination centre.
In some cases where caring responsibilities are shared, an additional person can be classed as a primary carer and receive a vaccination.

For more information visit

Residents urged to complete Covid-19 impact survey

12th March 2021

10 March 2021

Residents are being urged to complete a Covid-19 impact survey, which features a variety of questions on how Covid-19 has impacted their lives over the last year. 

The survey, which is available to complete today, aims to gain region-wide insight into the impact of Covid-19 on people living in the North East and is being supported by Durham University, the National Institute for Health Research and the NHS Integrated Covid Hub North East. 

Darlington residents will be asked how Covid-19 has had an impact on Darlington their health and work, as well as their feelings towards testing, self-isolating and the vaccination programme. 

Heather Scott, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We recognise how difficult it has been for people to cope with the coronavirus pandemic in our communities.  

“By completing the survey, you can help us understand more about how your day-to-day life has been affected, including your health and wellbeing, work and household finances.  

“We are also keen to hear your views on vaccination, the economy and the easing of lockdown restrictions in the town. 

“The results of the survey will help to identify additional support people in Darlington might need to manage changes to livelihoods and day to day living. Your responses are vital to informing local recovery plans over the coming months, so please take the time to complete the survey.” 

The information will be shared in line with GDPR regulations, meaning it will be kept anonymous, confidential, and secure.  If the data report is published, residents are assured that any findings will be entirely anonymous and non-identifiable. 

The survey is accessible online via the following weblink:  

Roadmap out of Lockdown

04th March 2021

The Prime Minister announced the plans to ease lockdown in England, a few weeks ago, which, by way of reminder, we summarise below. Obviously, the dates are provisional as they may change depending upon the rate of infection.

8th March:  All schools reopen for all age groups. Work from home guidance remains unchanged.

29th March:  Outdoor sports facilities (e.g. golf courses) reopen.

12th April:  Hospitality business can reopen for outdoor service. Non-essential shops can re-open, plus hairdressers, zoos, theme parks, drive in cinemas, libraries, and indoor leisure facilities.

17th May:  Pubs, bars, and restaurants reopen for indoor service. Hotels, cinemas, theatres and other businesses can reopen.

21st June:  Everything reopens, including nightclubs.

The government will review the need for face masks and social distancing, (which will influence work from home guidance).

PPE for unpaid carers

23rd February 2021

PPE is now available via Local Authorities for those providing unpaid care to someone they do not live with. This offer is available to cover needs for PPE that have arisen due to COVID-19. If you would normally use PPE because of the nature of the care you provide, you should continue to access it through your normal routes.

From the guidance;


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

The government are currently rolling out an offer of free PPE for COVID-19 needs to unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for. This will be available until the end of June 2021, and will be available from local authorities (LAs) and local resilience forums (LRFs).

See personal protective equipment (PPE): local contacts for providers for details of LAs and LRFs who are currently making PPE available to unpaid carers. You can contact them to request PPE.

This offer is available to cover needs for PPE that have arisen due to COVID-19. If you would normally use PPE because of the nature of the care you provide, you should continue to access it through your normal routes.

If you live with the person or people you care for, it is not currently recommended that you wear PPE unless advised to do so by a healthcare professional, like a GP or nurse.

Recommended PPE for unpaid carers who do not live with the person or people they care for

If you do not live with the person or people you care for, it is recommended that you wear PPE when delivering care.

It is essential that PPE is worn correctly in order to reduce the risk of transmission. PPE should be put on and removed at least 2 metres away from the person you are caring for.

See guidance on how to put on and take off PPE correctly.

The type of PPE you should wear will depend on the type of care you provide. The type of mask you have been given will be clearly stated on the box.


Vaccine information for people with learning impairments

05th January 2021

From NHS England Learning Disability and Autism Programme

The format of the film is our adviser Katie Matthews, asking our national clinical director Dr Roger Banks a series of questions about vaccinations:

The film is 3 ½ minutes  long so we have also produced social media clips for some of the questions so you can link back to the main film.

Here is a download link to the 5 social media clips

Personal Protective Equipment animation and resources

01st May 2020



What PPE to wear when providing care out of hospital

This short animation shows you what personal protective equipment to wear when providing care (including caring for extremely vulnerable and shielded people) in care homes or caring for people in their own homes.  It is based on Public Health England’s recently published guidance:-


Putting on and removing PPE – a guide for care homes

This Public Health Education video includes a flowchart for care workers providing care to residents to identify whether there is a need for PPE, PPE recommendations for care home staff, and some frequently asked questions on the use of PPE in care homes


Website for further resources

The above animation and video and further resources/links that may be of help to people providing care out of hospital are all grouped in this one website.  Under the “resources” section are other videos including how to take someone’s temperature, guides to help with your personal wellbeing, along with a training package on Covid-19 infection prevention and control.  You can also download posters on how to take off PPE and on the “useful links” tab, there are quick links to other websites for further information/support eg E-learning for Healthcare:-

Direct Payments Help Line

30th March 2020

We know that this is a very worrying time for disabled people, particularly Direct Payment users.

We are putting in a range of support to be able to continue to support Direct Payment users at this time. If you use a Direct Payment and live in Darlington, Middlesbrough or Redcar and have concerns or queries our Independent Living Advisors and Lead Workers are available to support you by telephone and email.

You can contact us on 01325 360524 or 01325 489999 or email

Please be aware we are experiencing high numbers of call and queries at the moment so please be patient but we will respond to all.


Free Coronavirus Video

23rd March 2020

Free Coronavirus Awareness eLearning Video from IHASCO

In this short free Coronavirus eLearning video, IHASCO provide practical advice to raise awareness of what Coronavirus is, how to reduce the risk of the virus spreading and what to do if you’re showing symptoms.

This free resource is for anyone wishing to find out more about Coronavirus and how to minimise its impact.

Raising Awareness: Watch the 8 minute video below and share with friends, family and staff!

Fear of the unknown and feeling like we have a lack of control certainly contributes to further panic. But what’s important is learning what there is to know at the moment, and how this information can help us to take preventive measures, whilst also knowing what to do if further action is needed.

Thankfully, there are a few things that can be done.

With this in mind, iHASCO felt it is their duty to use their expertise and resources to provide a free online awareness video about the Coronavirus.

Here is a link to the video

Daily Updates Coronavirus

13th March 2020

Daily updates about the Coronavirus

There has been lots of information on the News about Coronavirus.

This easy read information tells you more about what Coronavirus is, how you get Coronavirus, the symptoms and what you should do if you think you have Coronavirus.

You can find daily updates on the Government website

or you can find more information on the NHS website

These updates are not easy read so you may need some support to read the information. Link to an easy read version


How you can support us

As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year.  But we need your help.

Click here to find out how you can support us

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