Details of adult social care during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Other service disruption

You may also be interested in the service disruption to other areas.


This information is for people, or their family and friend carers, who:

  • use our adult social care services or
  • have a direct payment
  • use our public health services; and

We know that there is a lot of worrying news at the moment and that many people will be feeling anxious for themselves and their families and friends.

We want to let you know what we are doing about COVID-19 to support people who use our health and adult services and how we are supporting our teams and service providers.

There is new information about COVID-19 every day. We are working with other organisations to make sure we are following the latest Government and scientific advice. We are also working closely with the NHS, other councils and voluntary sector colleagues so that we can help each other.

We have a COVID-19 plan in place and we are working through it so that we can support the public and our staff. We have plans to manage specific problems including if there are fewer staff available. We are also working with providers we fund so they can also manage any problems.

This udpate includes answers to some of the more common questions we have been asked in our work so far.

Staying updated

All changes to council services can be found at www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus which we are updating regularly.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can ask your support worker to show you the information on their smartphone or computer.

If you need information about COVID-19 in another format, ask your support worker, who will be able to arrange this for you.

If you live in North Yorkshire and need advice about your social care, call NYCC on 01609 780780 between 8am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Outside those hours, if it is an urgent social care issue you can contact the Emergency Duty Team on the same number.

To contact Public Health services such as smoking cessation services, sexual health services, drug and alcohol support and weight management, check the Public Health section at the end of this document for telephone numbers.

If you have an urgent medical problem and are not sure what to do, you can contact NHS 111 by dialling 111 or visiting www.111.nhs.uk

However, if you think your symptoms are related to COVID-19 please follow the guidance on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms page.

If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can:

  • call 18001 111 on a textphone
  • use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service if you’re deaf and want to use the phone service

Preventing Covid-19

Read our Coronavirus Prevention page for advice on how to avoid getting ill including how to practice social distancing.

Adult Social Care

You may be contacted by your provider to check how you are feeling and whether you have any symptoms. You should tell them immediately if you have any COVID19 symptoms.

If you are experiencing or displaying any of the symptoms, you will still get the support you need. However, your care workers will wear protective clothing whilst visiting and will ask you to wear a face mask.

We know this might be difficult for some people, particularly people with dementia or some disabilities, and we will work with you, your family/friends and other people who know you well, to agree how we can best protect you and our staff.

How might my care be affected?

We have been working around the clock to prepare our services to meet the urgent challenge caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. Most of our services will stay the same, however there have been some changes to help our local hospitals free up the beds they need to treat people who are critically ill, and avoid new admissions to hospital unless this is vital.

As part of this, we have moved our frontline teams to a new way of working to support the community better and to help the NHS with the pressures they are facing.  Some of the changes include:

  • teams providing a seven-day-a-week 8am-8pm service
  • Working with our main hospitals in Harrogate, Northallerton and Scarborough to support people being discharged from hospital
  • linking into hospitals in Keighley, Middlesbrough and York
  • Working with community health staff and GPs, based around groups of GP practices, to ensure emergency support and treatment for people in the community with Covid-19;

We also continue to support people in the community with social care needs that are not related to Covid-19.

Changes to Day Services and Respite Care

We have made changes to some of our day and respite care services so we can:

  • meet social distancing measures set out by the government,
  • provide additional hospital beds to those people in most need.

If you or someone you know usually use our day or respite care services, you will already have received a letter from us to tell you about those changes and where you can get additional support if you need it.

Emergency Powers

The Government recently gave local authorities emergency powers under the Care Act to make changes to respond to pressures in the care system caused by COVID 19. We will not use these powers unless it becomes essential to do so.

Any changes will only be made if the impact of Covid-19 on the community, the NHS and social care is so great that we have to focus primarily on supporting people with Covid-19 and any other urgent needs that people have. If we do have to use them, then we will let you know.

Our focus now, as always, is to keep people safe and well in our community. We want to prevent admissions to hospital and to 24 hour care, wherever possible, so they can be used for people who are critically ill with Covid-19.

Keeping you informed about changes to your services

We want to thank you for your understanding and patience where we have made changes already had to make changes to services. We are doing our best to stay in touch and keep support going, even if this has to be done in a different way.

We will make sure that we keep you updated and let you know if there will be any changes, while continuing to support you the best that we can.

I get my care from family / friends. What if they can no longer support me?

If your carer becomes ill but you also have paid support, you or your carer should contact your care provider.

If you do not have anyone else who can provide support, you or your carer should call Adult Social Care on 01609 780780

Community Hubs

For people who don’t necessarily require social care or NHS services, but who can’t be supported by family or friends, the County Council is working with partners to provide advice and support, including through a network of 23 community hubs, led by the voluntary sector. 

Find more information about the hubs here.

Support with my medication

We will continue to support you with your medication management as part of your care package.

You should continue to order and collect your medication as you do now. If necessary, we may need to change how we support you with your medication. This might be getting more support from your family and friends, or organising our visits in a different way. If we need to do this, we will contact you or your family or carers to let you know.

I use direct payments – is there anything I need to do?

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should follow the advice above. You should also contact your Personal Assistant or your care provider.

If your care needs can’t be met by your normal arrangements, for example your care provider can’t deliver your care and support, or your Personal Assistant becomes ill, please contact us on 01609 780780.

If you need protective equipment such as masks or gloves, please use the contact details below:

Tel: 0800 915 9964

Email: supplydisruptionservice@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Read more information about Direct Payments in North Yorkshire. This has also been sent to people, and we will continue to update this.

What if I go to a day service?

Because of social distancing, we have decided to stop day services we provide for older people in our care homes. If this affects you, we will contact you to discuss how this may impact you. Managers of the affected day services will also link with families, carers and the person with welfare checks on a regular basis.

Currently Learning Disability day services are continuing, and we will let people know if this changes.

What if I use the NYCC short breaks service?

At the moment we have no plans to change short breaks. We will let people know if there are any changes.

What about paying for social care and support?

If you are already paying for care and support, there will be no changes to the way you do this. There may be changes for people who start using services, and we’ll explain these once these are clear.

If you are waiting to talk to someone about payment arrangements or a financial assessment, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible; you don’t need to do anything at the moment.

Visiting friends or relatives in a care home

We are being careful to make sure people in care homes are safe. To help with social distancing, some care homes are not letting people visit friends and family. If this happens, there are other ways to keep in contact with people:

  • You can call by telephone
  • If you have the internet you can use video calls like Skype, WhatsApp, or FaceTime.

Contact the home to see how they can help you stay in touch with loved ones.

In our care homes we are restricting visitors to a single nominated person and will be following strict hygiene controls.

Extra Care services are provided by different housing providers, who have made individual decisions about arrangements for visitors. You will need to contact the relevant housing provider for a service to find out what these are.

Read the Government advice for social or community care and residential settings on COVID-19.

Deprivation of liberty

The Department of Health and Social Care recently released guidance for using the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DoLS) during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  View the COVID19 and MCA decision making tool. (pdf / 334 KB)

Public Health services

Our Public Health Services are working hard to continue to support people as best as possible. Some of the main things we are working on include:

  • Supporting commissioned services to maintain essential service provision
  • Working with our analyst teams to undertake modelling and monitor relevant data trends to help target our response to emerging and expected need
  • Supporting the Local Resilience Forum to coordinate multi-agency support, particularly around social care, universal support services, PPE and testing
  • Feeding in to work on recovery and emerging from lockdown
  • Supporting NHS and system partners to manage non-COVID-19 pressures
  • Sharing timely information on COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 issues

There have been some changes to times of service to take into account changes to national guidance and local needs. Visit public health services during coronavirus for the most up to date information on your public health services in North Yorkshire.

Keeping well

Staying at home for a long time can be difficult for some people, and you might feel bored and lonely. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body. Try to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone, using technology, or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help, including

Other help available

You can find out about more about help in the community and from us on our help for you during Coronavirus (Covid-19) page.

Watch out for fraudsters

Unfortunately, nationally, there have been reports of fraudsters exploiting the spread of coronavirus, including claiming to provide medical guidance, investment opportunities or a safe place to which to transfer money.

Make sure you:

  • don’t deal with cold callers at any time, either by phone or at the door
  • don’t respond to unsolicited emails.

You can report any examples of fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on the Action Fraud website.

Easy read Information

Download the  easy read version of this information. (pdf / 2 MB)

Frequently asked questions

 View frequently asked questions. (pdf / 554 KB)

We have received lots of questions over recent weeks about our response to the pandemic. We have written a set of Frequently Asked Questions, with responses. This is attached below.

However, if there is something that still isn’t clear you can speak directly to the team supporting you, or contact us by email at HASCovidComms@northyorks.gov.uk.

If you or a family member are in need of care and support, either in a residential setting or at home, or if you or someone you know is at risk of harm you should contact our Customer Service Centre on 01609 780780.

The Centre is open seven days a week 8am to 5:30pm.  The Emergency Duty Team is available from 5.30pm to 8am for social care emergencies.