Supporting vulnerable residents
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you will have received a letter or email from Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
On 31 October, the Prime Minister announced new national restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK, and that is why, from 5 November until 2 December, the government has asked those who were previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and at highest risk of becoming very unwell if catching COVID-19 to take extra precautions. Visit the government's website for full guidance.
Whilst this is not a return to the very restrictive shielding advice earlier in the year, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are strongly advised to follow these extra precautionary shielding measures to help keep themselves safe.
Register for support if you're clinically extremely vulnerable
You can register online with the government's new shielding support service for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, to:
- request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
- tell us if you need local support
- make sure your details such as your address and contact numbers are up to date
You’ll be asked for your NHS number, which you can find at the top of your letter. It is important to register, even if you do not have any support needs at this time, so we know to focus on caring for others who may need more help. You can log in and update your needs if circumstances change at any time.
We can also help you to register by contacting us directly on 0300 300 8900.
If you've already registered with GOV.UK
If, when you registered with GOV.UK, you said that you're not able to manage your personal care and support needs, you can ask us for a needs assessment.
You need to self-isolate if you:
- have to quarantine after travel
- have a positive COVID-19 test
- are contacted by NHS Test and Trace
- have an operation (before and after)
If you're clinically extremely vulnerable and need to self-isolate
Please register with the shielding support service or contact us on 0300 300 8900.
Help with getting food
The easiest way to get food without visiting a shop is to order online for delivery. You can ask family and friends to help you to do this.
If you already have a priority delivery slot, that will continue; you don't need to do anything further.
If someone else is going to the shops for you, most 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.
Good neighbour schemes
If you have no other support with your shopping, we have a network of volunteer-led local good neighbour schemes, who might be able to assist you with shopping, collecting medication and checking that you are OK. You can contact them directly for support.
NHS volunteer responders
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. You can call them on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) to arrange NHS volunteer support.
Help with getting medicines
In the first instance, ask a friend, family member, carer or a volunteer (for example one of the local good neighbour scheme or an NHS volunteer responder) to collect your medicines for you.
If you're clinically extremely vulnerable and none of these are available, you'll be eligible for free medicines delivery. Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge.
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.
Mental health and wellbeing
Life can be very different at the moment and hard in many ways. Visit the government's website for practical steps you can take to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, find out what support's available, including food banks in Central Bedfordshire.
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.