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How Personal Assistants fit into Health and Social Care

Different types of support in Health and Social Care

Unpaid carers

An unpaid carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

Home Care Agencies

Home care agencies employ care workers and arrange for them to visit you to provide care services. All home care agencies must register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates and inspects them.

Personal Assistants in Care

Personal Assistants are employed directly by the person they support, or their representative. The employer can choose which Personal Assistant they want to employ and directs the tasks that the Personal Assistant supports them with.


What is the difference between a PA and a carer?

A Personal Assistant is a paid employee of the individual they are supporting (or their representative). The role should not be confused with the unpaid, informal care a family member or friend might provide.



Why are Personal Assistants so important in Health and Social Care?

The Social Model of Disability 

The Social Model of disability was developed by disabled people and is a way of viewing the world. It explains that people are disabled by barriers in society, and not by their condition or impairment. There can be physical barriers, such as buildings not having accessible toilets, or they can be created by people’s attitudes and behaviour.

Not everyone uses this model, but it is designed to help identify solutions to these barriers, and encourages the removal of the barriers within society, rather than focusing on ‘fixing’ an individual’s health condition or impairment. It encourages society to be more inclusive. 


Personalised care

Personalised care gives people choice and control over the way that their care is planned and delivered. It allows them to design a support plan that is tailored to meet their own unique needs.

It recognises that everyone is different and allows people to base their care and support on their individual needs and what matters to them. By allowing people to be more creative and flexible with their care, the NHS suggest that people will have better experiences and improved health and wellbeing as a result.

Personal Assistance is a model of support which empowers individuals to recruit and employ Personal Assistants themselves, as their employees, instead of being reliant on home care workers supplied by the Local Authority, NHS Team or a home care agency.

Personal Assistants provide person-centred care and support and help the individual needing support achieve their personal wellbeing outcomes in their home or community. 

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