Supporting vulnerable residents
End of the national food scheme and medicine delivery service
As the Government guidance is changing and people are no longer required to shield from the virus the national food scheme and the government funded medicines delivery service will stop after 31 July 2020.
Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and there may still be times when you need help to get food, prescriptions and other supplies. There is still help available to you if this is the case, and the options are detailed below.
Help with getting food
The easiest way to get food without leaving your home is to order online for delivery. If you can, ask family or friends to help you do this.
Supermarkets offer priority delivery slots to vulnerable residents. If you haven’t registered for this service, you can do so.
If you have already registered for a priority supermarket delivery slot before 17 July, you will keep this priority slot from 1 August.
If someone else is going to the shops for you, most of the major supermarkets have ways you can pay for your shopping, such as e-vouchers or gift cards. You can buy these online and the person shopping for you can use them in store. To find out about payment options, visit your supermarket’s website.
If you have no other support with your shopping, we are fortunate in Central Bedfordshire to have a network of volunteer led local good neighbour schemes who might be able to assist you with shopping, collecting prescriptions and checking that you are okay. You can contact them directly for support, the list of the schemes is available on their website.
Alternatively, the NHS Volunteer Responders are also there to support you with shopping. You can choose what products you want and when you want them, and an NHS Volunteer Responder will then pick up and deliver your shopping to you. NHS Volunteer Responders can also pick up other essentials you need. Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange NHS Volunteer support.
If you urgently need food or care or are in financial hardship please contact us for support.
Please use the online form above in the first instance. If you need to contact us in an emergency, please call 0300 300 8900.
Help with getting medicines
If your medicines are currently being delivered through the government funded medicines delivery service, then you will need to make other arrangements for after 31 July when this service will stop.
You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.
The other ways you can get your medicines delivered are:
- ask someone to pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy (this is the best option, if possible)
- use an online NHS pharmacy who will offer free delivery of medicine
- contact your pharmacy to ask to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) to deliver it
- contact your pharmacy to ask about other delivery options that they might provide
- contact your local good neighbour scheme to ask for assistance
- call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange for an NHS Volunteer Responder to pick up prescriptions for you
Even if you don’t need additional support now, it might be helpful to keep this letter for future reference.
Although the number of COVID-19 cases is decreasing and restrictions are being eased, the virus is still in our community and it will continue to have an impact on how we live our lives. Please continue to keep up to date with and follow the latest government guidance.
If you do go to a shop yourself, remember to keep safe by social distancing, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly, particularly when you get home.
How to stay safe when accepting help from others
Please refer to GOV.UK guidance on staying at home.
If you are receiving voluntary help do not share financial details like credit/debit card numbers or personal information.
If someone you don’t know calls at your home, always ask for ID and always ensure you are comfortable sharing details like your phone number or address. Only provide information on a need to know basis and if you have seen ID. Do not feel pressured into providing information. If you have doubts about those who are approaching you, and are concerned, it is advised that you don’t engage, and report serious suspicious behaviour to the police.
Remember that genuine volunteers have been instructed not to enter your home.