Support and advice from Lambeth Council

Lambeth Council's website is regularly updated with key information on coronavirus (Covid-19) including what you can do to protect yourself, support your community and the impact of the disease on local services.

More specifically, there is:

Lambeth Council also has a coronavirus helpline for people aged 70 or over and people of any age with the health conditions: 020 7926 2999 (the helpline is open between 8am and 8pm everyday).

You can also complete a form to refer someone you know that needs help and doesn't have support. Apply for vulnerable person assistance

Lambeth Council are also providing email updates about responses to coronavirus in Lambeth.

Please always consider the government's published guidance on social distancing and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.

The council has also produced a guide for residents during the COVID-19 crisis which sets out the breadth of help out there during this crisis.

Contact with Friends and Family

woman using technology to communicate

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 currently prohibit us all from leaving the place where we live to visit friends and relatives. This has been brought into force due to the current Coronavirus pandemic and is an essential order given to reduce the spread of this virus.

In Lambeth, we have a number of Care Providers, who have had to take swift action to protect their residents and this has meant restrictions on contact with the outside world, including visits by family members and friends, in line with Regulation 6 of the above regulations.

Lambeth has advised all our Providers, that they must do whatever they can to facilitate other types of contact with loved ones such as telephone, Skype, Whatsapp video calling, Zoom or Facetime.

We recognise that there will be some cases, where a resident may be very unwell or considered terminal and in these circumstances, care home providers will consider what arrangements can be made to safely enable contact, which does not place other vulnerable residents at risk. This is likely to include that visitors will be expected to wear personal protective equipment (provided to them) for these visits and allowed access only at agreed times.

We appreciate that this can be a very distressing situation for families wanting to be near loved ones and we will endeavour to do all we can to facilitate this whilst trying to ensure everyone is kept safe.

Safeguarding Adults

Local support

#together

Connect Lambeth (a partnership of charities in Lambeth including Age UK Lambeth, Carers Hub, dasl and RAD)  

Connect Lambeth can support with emergency shopping and medication pick up service, and access to food vouchers. They can help residents of Lambeth who are unable to leave the 

To access this support email mycommunity@ageuklambeth.org or call 020 7346 6800 (choose option 6).

Age UK Lambeth

MYcommunity Gateway Service, with support from other staff and volunteers, continues to make sure our phones continue to be answered. We can provide advice, support and point you in the right direction for any additional support you may need.

MYadvice will continue to answer their advice line and deal with emails, with queries about housing, employment, benefits and money issues.  

MYneighbour’s 120+ volunteer befrienders are continuing to link up with their clients using the phone. 

The HandyFix Service is prioritising shopping and medication pick up for people who are housebound and have no one else who can help them. They will still be going out to priority jobs that keep older people safe in their homes such as key safes, hospital discharges, light bulb changes and grab rails. 

MYsocial may not have any events coming up but the team are busy contacting members, encouraging them to link up with each other and even doing the occasional virtual coffee morning.

Their #Together campaign promotes three things:

  1. Look after yourself. Be informed. Be sensible. Follow the advice from trusted sources only (www.nhs.uk). Switch off the noise of social media and 24-hour news. 
  2. Look out for each other. We love the way communities are coming together to help each other out. That’s amazing stuff. Stay safe. Be practical. Stay connected in as many ways you can. 
  3. Call us if you think you or someone else needs more support. Not health stuff. Use 111 for that. However, if you are really worried about someone else or even worried about how you might cope yourself, then get in touch

For more information and details on how to contact MYCommunity, visit their website.

 

Disability Advice Service Lambeth

Dasl have released a statement outlining how they will continue to provide support (including support with benefits, money, housing and debt) and advocacy services to disabled people in Lambeth. Wherever possible, this will be done via phone and email. Find out more.

Feeling lonely and want someone to talk to?

Dasl offer regular phone calls to disabled people who would like someone to talk to. Please contact our Enquiry Line on 020 7738 5656 between 9am and 5pm or email us at enquiry.line@disabilitylambeth.org.uk with your name and number; someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Advocacy

Dasl's Advocacy service is providing support in a number of ways including over the phone and video to ensure advocacy provision can be provided to maximise your rights at this time.  We are continuing to support Lambeth Council fulfil its Care Act advocacy duties. Contact the Advocacy team on 020 7501 8966 or email your name, number and brief details to advocacy@disabilitylambeth.org.uk.  

Managing Your Direct Payment

Dasl's Direct Payments support service will provide information and advice to Direct Payments users and people who employ Personal Assistants / carers.  We are mainly communicating by phone and email, but can explore other options such as video calls. Contact the Direct Payments team on 020 7501 8960 or by email at: direct.payments@disabilitylambeth.org.uk

 If you need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Personal Assistants / carers, these are the options:

  •  If your DP funds are held by a payroll company, you can buy PPE yourself and send receipts to the payroll company to be reimbursed.
  • If your DP funds are in a bank account, you can use the money to buy PPE, but should keep receipts for monitoring purposes.
  • If you can’t find PPE yourself, you can request a delivery by contacting Lambeth Council on 020 7926 5555.

 

Royal Association for Deaf People Advice Service

RAD's services are continuing via webcam. Please contact RAD staff to make an appointment:

-email RAD advice@royaldeaf.org.uk, or

-SMS RAD on 07912 630786

 

Gaia Centre

The Gaia Centre which supports Lambeth residents who are survivors of gender based violence, including domestic and sexual violence, are open and accepting referrals. They are providing 1:1 support via telephone and email during a time where survivors may feel additionally isolated and at risk due to coronavirus.

To make a referral or for a survivor to self-refer call: 020 7733 8724 or email lambethvawg@refuge.org.uk

For more information please see the Gaia Centre website.  

In an emergency call police on 999.

 

People living with dementia

During the coronavirus pandemic the Alzheimer's Society have advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in the same household or from a distance.

Anyone affected by dementia can call their support line  on  0333 150 3456.

You can also see the  full range of free publications  or use the online tool to  find dementia information and support

Their website will be updated regularly, including details about how Alzheimer’s Society can help. This will provide support to help you get through this difficult time.

 

Lambeth Council have also compiled details on some of the support services that are available, to help people and their families who are impacted by dementia during this crisis. This can be found on their website.

 

Food banks and deliveries

The Lambeth Food Bank Fund has launched to support our community and the organisations that can have the most impact on those that are most vulnerable. Anyone who would like to donate can do so via the link above.

To find your local foodbank to donate to please visit the Trussell Trust website.

Lambeth Mutual Aid Groups are also supporting Lambeth residents. Join the Facebook group to find your local Whatsapp group and post requests for support such as food drop-offs if you're self-isolating. Note these are volunteer-led groups so please be very careful about sharing your personal details and do not give people you don’t know access to your bank cards.

If you are a local community organiser, the most important thing you can do is ensure your group considers safeguarding practices. Adopting simple precautions like keeping records of money spent and providing shopping receipts supports you in helping your neighbourhoods whilst protecting vulnerable residents.  

 

Welfare advice and financial help

Lambeth Council may be able to help if you are claiming benefits of experiencing financial hardship, via their emergency support scheme, discretionary housing payments, and council tax support. For full details visit their website.

Lambeth Council's Every Pound Counts service provides additional support to Lambeth residents who have a serious long term health condition or disability, who may have difficulty accessing mainstream services. They can provide advice about benefit entitlements and how to access them, as well as advice and support if benefits have stopped and you need to appeal. 

To access this support call 020 7926 5555 (available Tuesday and Thursday, 1 to 4pm) or email: EveryPoundCounts@lambeth.gov.uk

 

Support for mental health

SLAM crisis line

How they can help: Urgent mental health support over the phone

Who they can help: All Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham residents

How to get support: Call the helpline 0800 731 2864

The Samaritans

How they can help: The Samaritans provide urgent mental health support over the telephone

Who they can help: All Lambeth residents (national helpline)

How to get support: Call: 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org

Lambeth and Southwark Mind

Mind have information and support on coronavirus. This includes plan for staying at home or indoors and taking care of your mental health and wellbeing.

Mindfulness for older people

Home Instead Senior Care deliver care care to the residents of Wandsworth, Lambeth and Dulwich. They have a guest blog from Russell Treasure, Mindfulness Coach from Manchester, offering tips and guidance on mindfulness for older people.

 

Safeguarding Children

The Lambeth Safer Children Partnership has gathered useful resources to help professionals, parents and young people.

 

Webcast funerals

To minimised the spread of COVID-19 not everyone will be able to attend a funeral of a family or friend. Like most services, funeral directorates are also adapting to how they carry out funeral services, from the 5th May 2020, some will be able to provide a webcast of a funeral, more information can be found here.

 

Accessible Information

Coronavirus and Health Issues poster

Mencap Easy-Read Guide

Mencap have created some easy read information about coronavirus for you to use, as well as information based on the latest guidance from the government. To access this easy-read guide, visits Mencap's website.

 

Beyond Words: Beating the Virus

Beyond Words is a charity that provides books and training to support people who find pictures easier to understand than words. They have created a free download which will help people to understand what to do if you have Coronavirus and how to keep yourself and those who you care about safe. The story also shows how to safely help others who may be self-isolating.

Supplementary text at the end of the story gives information on where people can seek help if they are unwell and signposts to other useful resources.

To access this free resource please visit their website.

 

Easy-Read Online

Easy-Read Online have created new easy-read information outlining new government rules on staying home and advice on how to self-isolate.

 

Help using NHS 111

NHS England has produced a video to help people with a learning disability, autism or both, to use the NHS 111 service.

 

Photosymbols posters

Photosymbols have created a set of posters to help explain what to do to keep yourself and others safe during the coronavirus outbreak. They are all available to download from their website.

 

Translation of NHS Guidelines.

Doctors of the World have translated NHS Guidelines in to 43 languages. To access this information, visit their website.

 

Advice for professionals

SCIE logo

Advice from Social Care Institute for Excellence

Predicted service gaps may open up opportunities for exploitation or abuse. Legislative amendments will not remove the duty of care towards an individual’s risk of serious neglect or harm.

What can you do to help?

As a frontline worker you are the eyes and ears that may first pick up any signs of abuse. Here is a checklist of things you can do:

Talk to your patients, residents or clients about the increased risk of abuse at this time.

Be aware that any changes in behaviour or demeanour could indicate abuse.

Advise people not to answer the door to strangers – and be aware of fake ID.

Try not to alarm people but ask them to be wary of offers to help, particularly from strangers.

Advise people to check with family, friends or paid support that offers of support, advice and help are legitimate.

Warn people against responding to any text, email or phone call from an unidentified source. Explain that fraudsters will imitate official bodies such as the government or the NHS - and they do it very well!

Advise people that they should never give their personal data, passwords or pin numbers to anyone. Official financial bodies and other organisations will never ask for them.

If you know of a person who has been subjected to, or is at risk of, domestic abuse – if it is safe to talk to them, try to assess the current situation. Make sure they know that help is available if they need it and who to contact both for advice and support and in an emergency. (The Gaia Centre which supports Lambeth residents who are survivors of gender based violence, including domestic and sexual violence, are open and accepting referrals)

If you have a concern that someone is being abused or neglected, it is important that you raise that concern internally, in line with your organisation’s policy and procedure. This is usually with your direct manager or supervisor, though your organisation may also have a safeguarding lead.

For more information see SCIE's advice for safeguarding adults during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mental Capacity Act

People with conditions such as dementia, learning disability or significant mental health problems (or shorter-term issues like drunkenness or concussion) may, in some situations, lack the mental capacity to make a particular decision. And so, when people are having their lives affected on a grand scale by the coronavirus, it is important to know what protections the MCA gives them, both during the crisis and in more typical times.

The Mental Capacity Act has not been altered by emergency legislation. While the basic law remains the same, there are implications for the use of the MCA during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • A lot of new, or recently retired, staff and volunteers are pouring into the health, social care, and community sectors, and people need to understand the MCA, and its importance in protecting the rights of people with cognitive impairments.
  • The challenges of assessing whether a person has capacity are magnified if being done remotely by telephone or video link. Accessing good support – from your colleagues, managers, or information sites – is very important.
  • All aspects of health and social care – including seeking this support – are made more complex by the combination of mass home-working, higher sickness rates, and demands of responding to a nationwide crisis. So the challenges of applying the MCA well should not be underestimated.
  • Remember that any best interests decision can only be made between the available options. Being subject to a best interests decision is not a passport to services or choices that are not otherwise available to people. And so, at the moment, when everyone’s choices are so curtailed, this needs to be borne in mind. For instance, a best interests decision for someone to travel to see their family is unlikely to be valid right now, because it runs counter to government requirements on social distancing.
  • The COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have safeguarding implications, and practitioners need to understand the application of the MCA in safeguarding situations – in brief, that the MCA applies in safeguarding cases, and so if someone is making a capacitated yet seemingly unwise decision about a safeguarding situation, they have the right to do so, provided other people are not put at risk.
  • Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment – by which people can set out what medical care they would not want to have in given situations where they may lack the future capacity to make a choice – are an important part of the MCA. At a time when a lot of people will be thinking through the implications of falling ill to COVID-19, it may be useful to support people to consider what interventions they would not desire to have, should they lose decision-making capacity. Compassion in Dying's Advance Decision pack can help people to do this.   They have also created a new resource to support GPs with advance care planning conversations  over the phone or video, in the context of coronavirus

The LSAB’s Performance and Quality subgroup have developed guidance on options available for carrying out MCA assessments including a template to support professionals completing assessments during this time.

For more guidance on MCA and DoLS, visit SCIE's website.

 

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The emergency Coranavirus Bill does not provide for any modifications to the adult safeguarding or deprivation of liberty (DoLS) framework and the government will be providing emergency guidance to advise specifically on this.

Lambeth DoLS Service has produced a letter to give Providers advice and reassurance around DoLS arrangements in the interim, available to download here.

 

39 Essex Chambers - resources relating to COVID-19 and the MCA 2005

This page is regularly updated and includes resources relating to COVID-19 and the MCA 2005.  

 

Practical tips for telephone consultations

Subtle signs of abuse and/or neglect may not be as obvious during phone/video calls. Victims of abuse may be unable to speak freely if speaking from home.

  • Check who else is in the room when you are making a phone/video call.
  • Ask about what support they have, how they are managing with isolation/social distancing.
  • Ask if they feel safe.
  • Consider use of ‘closed’ questions when asking about safety – questions with ‘yes/no’ answers may help a victim of abuse share that they are being harmed.https://www.lambethsab.org.uk/admin/config/people
  • Encourage and promote ongoing social support and contact with their friends and family through virtual means e.g. by phone, video chat.

 

London Care Homes Resource Pack (version 1)

This resource pack has been signed off by London’s Clinical Advisory Group and seeks to pull together key elements from guides and resources for care home staff. Includes staff wellbeing, PPE use, talking to relatives, support to specific types of resident – those with dementia, learning disabilities or at the end of their life. The 2nd version is currently in draft. This version includes an updated definition of an ‘outbreak’ in care homes, which is when ‘one or more residents in the care home diagnosed with symptoms compatible with COVID 19’.

Click here to download.

 

Homeless health during COVID-19

The Healthy London Partnership have brought together a range of information and guidance to support partners and providers in their response to homelessness during COVID-19. All of these resources can be found on their website.