Minister Letter: PA Programme Board Actions
A letter from the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Kevin Stewart MSP outlining PA Programme Board actions went out today to the 5,000 strong cohort of Personal Assistants who received a thank you payment for services during pandemic lockdown.
The letter which you can read here introduces the work of the PA Programme Board and encourages PAs to take part in a new annual survey to help the board, and the Scottish Government, better understand the PA workforce. Another key announcement was the offer of a free essential worker badge in conjunction with membership of the Personal Assistants Network Scotland. Other mentions include how recruitment and support for PAs is to be bolstered with the inclusion of a special category in the My Job Scotland website and the imminent launch of the PA Handbook.
National Wellbeing Hub Helpline: 0800 111 4191
Rounding off the Minister’s letter, encouragement to take a look at the range of resources available at the National Wellbeing Hub including their 24/7 helpline.
Self Directed Support Scotland designed the survey in collaboration with PAs and stakeholders from the Programme Board recognising that PAs are time poor and often unsure of the merits of data collection. As such, the survey is anonymous, to the point, and worded in plain english. There is an option to take it by telephone, but most are reporting the online experience as very straightforward, with one user saying:
I had no problems accessing the survey and it all worked really well from question to question. I liked the variety of questions and the different ways of submitting answers. I particularly liked the way you have put section 3 together…. I appreciate how difficult it must be with so many options to cover…. but I thought this section was well considered, thoughtful and well worded. It gave plenty of options that should hopefully cover most situations for most people.
SDSS will be running the survey year on year and providing the analysis to the PA Programme Board, Scottish Government and key stakeholders. Our commitment is to ensure we can target the data to where it will be most useful to drive action in supporting and recognising the PA workforce and track improvements associated with outcomes of the PA Programme Board. The survey will run for the month of April annually. Take the 2022 Survey now.
The PA Programme Board
In his letter Mr Stewart describes his commitment to the PA programme board and its role in advising Scottish Government. SDSS Chief Executive Donald Macleod chairs the board in partnership with Deputy Director Social Care Workforce and Fair Work Division, Ian Turner ensuring a concrete link between government and Independent Support. Mr Stewart describes the approach of the board as…
…to identify issues, prioritise actions and recommend necessary changes which will be fed into long term work-streams. This approach will include promotion of the value of the PA role, the support of improvements in working conditions, raising awareness of PA roles as a career choice, work to reduce isolation and increase access to information and support.
What to do next
- Are you a PA, or do you know PAs? Then take or share the survey and ensure your voice is represented
- Check the PA Handbook and subscribe for updates
- Share the special offer of a free essential worker’s badge from the PA Network Scotland
- If you represent an Independent Support Organisation who supports PAs or PA employers, catch up on the PA Programme Board activity, and see how you are linked to the board membership
- If your organisation advertises PA recruitment, ensure it is listed on My Job Scotland – talk to us if it is not!