SENDMatters: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Children’s disability service

The children’s disability service continues to operate a service on a “duty” basis. CDS team members are now working remotely and so calls to the service will be directed to a single point of access where your enquiry will be answered and managed.

Getting in touch

You should continue to contact your allocated worker on their direct telephone number or email: disablededchildrensteam@bromley.gov.uk or call 020 8313 4511.

Home visits

As restrictions around social distancing have now changed members of our team are once again able to offer home visits to families to meet or to conduct assessments.

If you continue to have concerns about visits to your home and prefer to use either video or telephone calls please let us know so that we can agree the best way to meet to discuss your needs.

Formal meetings

Office based meetings are not currently available but we will work with you to find the best way of communicating together.

Support from the borough’s volunteers

If you are still experiencing difficulties in caring for your child at home, obtaining essentials, or have concerns about your family’s welfare, contact your allocated CDS worker.

Our service is working with Vibrance, Bromley Mencap and other  local care agencies to identify workers who might be available to support families. In addition, there is also volunteer support from the council through the Bromley assistance helpline

Volunteer support is available to help with practical issues, such as shopping or collecting prescriptions.
How to request support through a volunteer.

Hollybank short break provision

Hollybank is closed however, once re-opened it will be initially offering a new day care only service, providing a break for 3 children per session (50 % occupancy). Families accessing the Hollybank service will be notified about the expected date of the centre re-opening. We continue to work towards re-opening the centre for overnight respite breaks.

Riverside Playscheme

The Riverside Playscheme is reopening for the summer holiday period.  Activities have been structured in a way that will provide an enjoyable and safe experience for the children and young people attending.  The scheme is running at full capacity.

For those families who have chosen to continue to formally shielding or socially isolate your child or young person please do contact the CDS team so that we can explore whether there is any support we can provide for your family during the summer holiday period

Direct payments

The service recognises that due to concerns around shielding, social isolation or social distancing families may not be employing Personal Assistant at this time.

If you are considering advising your personal assistant that they are not needed, or if you have other enquiries about the employment of a Personal Assistant, we strongly recommend that you discuss your concerns with Vibrance to ensure that you are complying with employment law. 

Where families are not able to use their direct payments for the usual purpose, we are supporting the flexible use of direct payments to purchase equipment/toys which can provide stimulation and enjoyment for your child, which also supports you as a family in your caring role.

Please make contact with the CDS before making any purchases if you wish to buy equipment/toys from your direct payments. Some examples of how the DP’s can be used are the purchase of trampolines, padding pools, tablets, as well as funding days out.

 How to contact Vibrance

To contact Vibrance for general direct payment queries, you should contact the Bromley team on 020 8290 6639 or email bdp@vibrance.org.uk

For payroll queries, you should contact the payroll team on 01702 214 540 or email bdp@vibrance.org.uk

 Direct payments increase 

The direct payment rate has changed to £12.32 per hour from 6 April 2020 solely for the hours that people use to employ personal assistants

In order for the increase to be arranged, the service requires details of your employers liability insurance If you’ve not completed it already, please send this information to the disablededchildrensteam@bromley.gov.uk.

Government guidance - direct payments

Guidance which might answer questions you have about direct payments.

Guidance for commisioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers

Guidance for commissioners, people receiving direct payments and care providers (easy read)

Guidance for using  personal budgets during the coronavirus outbreak

Guidance for using personal budgets during the coronavirus outbreak (easy read).

Personal Protection Equipment and antibody testing

Further questions have arisen over the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and whether you can access this for your personal assistants. If you require PPE for your personal assistant, you should contact Vibrance on 020 8290 6639 between 11am and 1pm, Monday to Friday.

PPE orders for Personal Assistants are available through Vibrance who can be contacted on 020 8290 6639 between 11am and 1pm, Monday to Friday.

Orders received before 12pm will be processed for delivery the following working day and orders received on Friday (before 12pm) will be delivered on Monday.

COVID-19 antibody tests are available to personal assistants in Bromley. Tests are allocated in priority order according to risk criteria and type of patient-facing contact.

To obtain PPE or request an antibody test, please contact Vibrance’s Bromley team on: 0208 290 6639 or email bdp@vibrance.org.uk