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News and Updates

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Research on the Employment of Personal Assistants in Social Care

Personal Assistants and their Employers 

The Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care together with Data Cymru are conducting research on behalf of the Welsh Government to better understand the role and experiences of Personal Assistants in Social Care in Wales. To speak to the study team, click here

Guidance for employing 16 and 17 year olds in the social care sector

Guidance from Social Care Wales 

Welsh Government guidance update 11 August 2021

Guidance for patient/service user facing health and social workers following potential contact with COVID-19. 

COVID-19 contacts: guidance for health and social care staff [HTML] | GOV.WALES

Employee Assistance Programme for Personal Assistants

Personal Assistants, employed by Flintshire Direct Payment Employers, are entitled to access Flintshire County Council’s Employee Assistance Programme through Care first. 

Care first will provide emotional and practical support for issues at home or in work. The services are available online, and via a Freephone number 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Services available include

  • Information Services - Care Information Specialists are Citizen Advice trained and qualified to answer general and regional specific queries. Financial, Tenancy, Consumer, Benefits, Employment and Health are just a selection of the areas Care first can provide support for through the information service.
  • Counselling - Care first counsellors are available to provide support for anything you wish to discuss; regardless of the cause of the issues. Bereavement, Relationship Breakdown and Bullying are examples, but so are; Changes at Work, Pressure, Stress, Work Load and Illness.
  • Online Health and Wellbeing - A vast resource of regularly updated articles and information designed to help you manage a healthy lifestyle. Including Care first Zest, a tool which provides free interactive health and personal fitness support.

Please contact the Direct Payment Support Team for the dedicated free phone number or log in details to access the service online.


Tel 01352 701100 

Lateral Flow Tests

In Wales, you can get lateral flow tests for you and your household if you volunteer or cannot work from home.

They can be delivered to your home address, or you can collect the testing kits in person from your nearest collection point.

For more information and to order testing kits please go to; 

Launch of updated recognition card for all care workers in Wales

Source; Social Care Wales 

All care workers in Wales are being offered an updated recognition card that identifies them as key workers and gives them access to money-saving offers.

The Care Worker Card is the next version of a similar card launched last year to help support care workers as they faced huge personal and professional challenges from the pandemic.

In response to feedback from users of the first card, Social Care Wales has arranged for cardholders to benefit from a cashback card, as well as a wide range of retail offers, through dedicated discounts provider, Discounts for Carers.

Cardholders will also have access to preferential shopping arrangements at certain supermarkets where those still apply. They will also be updated on resources, such as mobile applications, that can be used to help them maintain their physical and mental well-being.

The new card will offer the benefits to social care and childcare, play and early years workers in Wales, whether or not they are registered with Social Care Wales.

The new card will be in a digital format, so care workers can save it into their smartphone wallet. Those without smartphones will also be able to enjoy the same benefits as long as they have an e-mail address and access to the internet.

Sue Evans, Chief Executive of Social Care Wales, said: “The recognition card we launched last April was hugely appreciated by people working in care in Wales. It recognised them as key workers in the fight against the pandemic and provided some valuable benefits such as preferential shopping arrangements at major supermarkets.

“More than 30,000 care workers downloaded the digital version of the card and many more received physical cards. These initial cards were valid until 30 April 2021. But we did not want the card to be just about the pandemic. Care workers in Wales provide vitally important support for individuals and communities 24/7, and not just in times of crisis like COVID. We want our care workers to continue to be recognised and valued for the fantastic work they do day in-day out for us all and our families and friends.

“Something like this is particularly important for a sector made up of thousands of different providers. It gives them a sense of identity and some tangible benefits that they might not otherwise have been able to get. E-mails will be going out to the care sector during the next week and the new recognition card will be valid from 1 May. Although the new card will be digital-only, we will be making sure that even those workers without smartphones will still be able to enjoy the benefits that are on offer,” added Sue.

Sign up for the Care Worker Card

More information about the Care Worker Card

Flintshire Direct Payment Rate Increase April 2021

From 04 April 2021 a 5.15% increase has been agreed on the hourly rate Flintshire pay into the DP account when you employ a PA (excluding sleep ins).  If you employ an agency, the increase has not yet been agreed

The PA rate will increase to £13.28 per hour, (please note: this is not your personal assistants hourly rate of pay). 

If you would like to consider increasing your personal assistants hourly rate of pay, please contact the Flintshire Direct Payment Support Team.

National Minimum Wage Increase April 2021

From 01 April 2021, the National Minimum Wage has increased from £8.72 per hour to £8.91 per hour and now applies to those aged 23 and over (previously applied to those aged 25 and over).

For more information about minimum living wage please go to; or
If this affects you please contact the DP Support Team


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