Changes to our services

Adult social care and health

Updated 3 July 2020.

We've released £11.4m from our reserves to help adult social care providers cope with the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We will use a further £18.6m to increase the number of residential care beds we have available. This should help free up space in local hospitals.

If a relative is in a care home

If you're worried about a relative who is currently in a care home, please contact the care home directly.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

We continue to support care homes by providing PPE where it’s needed and in line with the Essex Resilience Forum guidelines. If a care home is in critical need, we can get supplies to them on the same day.

The government is urgently addressing issues with the supply of PPE nationally. So it’s vital we carefully manage PPE supplies locally.

Care homes have been issued guidance about our provision of PPE and how demand is being managed. Each care home has recently been issued 300 face masks by the government. We have also received an interim allocation of PPE from the government, which is being used to support urgent need.

However, we urgently need more PPE to provide protection to our front line care staff who are looking after and delivering care to our most vulnerable residents within Essex.

If you can help, please email with a contact name, phone number, quantity and postcode.

Support for people living with dementia

Support is available for people living with dementia during the coronavirus pandemic.

Support for carers

Information, support and guidance is available for carers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Direct payments

Our Adult Social Care team is aware of the challenges the current situation presents for those who use a direct payment to pay for their care and support needs.

We wrote to all direct payment holders in March to provide information, guidance and details of how to contact us if they needed urgent support.

Following this, we've received questions from people about how to manage their direct payments under the current circumstances. We've produced guidance to answer these questions. We will update this regularly as we receive more questions and as guidance changes.

This guidance is for those who:

  • manage their own direct payments
  • have support from Purple, the company we currently use, to manage their direct payments
  • manage direct payments on behalf of someone else

Read the COVID-19: direct payments for adults frequently asked questions (PDF, 477KB)

We also have guidance on technology enabled care for direct payments users (PDF, 467KB).

GOV.UK has advice on the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) for primary outpatient and community care by setting.

Mental health support

The initial feedback from the survey has been positive. We found that some people are struggling with anxiety, loneliness and are generally finding it hard.

There are lots of organisations that can help you. See Staying well for more information on where you can get mental health support.

Coronavirus testing for personal assistants

The government has confirmed that coronavirus testing is available for assistants employed through direct payments. For more information see:

PPE for direct payment recipients

Direct payments recipients that need personal protective equipment (PPE) for themselves or their carers can buy them from a list of suppliers. We have checked that these suppliers will sell directly to individuals.

These suppliers have given us permission to publish their details and they've provided the information and the products on offer. We don't warrant or guarantee them.

See the list of PPE suppliers for direct payments users (Excel spreadsheet, 31KB) and PPE urgent request form (Word document, 53KB).

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