Some residents have been identified by the NHS as being clinically extremely vulnerable as they have a very specific medical condition that makes them at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19.
The government is advising those in this category to follow very careful guidance to ensure they can stay safe and well.
If you are in this category, the Government has now published updated guidance which you are advised to follow during the period of national restrictions from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December 2020. You should receive a letter from the NHS in the coming days to confirm that you are still in this category and more details about the guidance. If you do not receive a letter but believe you are clinically extremely vulnerable, please contact your GP or hospital consultant for further advice.
The updated Government guidance is not as restrictive as it was in the first wave of shielding:
- You are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. You may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble, for example, to exercise in an outdoor public place, but you should always try to do so as safely as possible
- Try to keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. Whenever you go out, continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
- You should also try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household
- You are strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work for this period of restrictions
- If you cannot attend work for this reason, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit. Other eligibility criteria will apply. The formal shielding notification you receive may act as evidence for your employer or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you are advised to follow shielding guidance and should not work outside of your home for the period stated in the letter
- If you were on payroll before 30 October 2020, you may also be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (on furlough), which is being extended until Wednesday 2 December 2020. Speak to your employer if you think you are eligible
- You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you. For more information, view our Support section
- You are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy. If friends and family are not able to collect your medicines for you, then you will be eligible for free medicines delivery. Contact your pharmacy to arrange this
- You should continue to seek support from the NHS and other health providers for your existing health conditions and any new health concerns. You can still receive informal care at home from people within your support bubble, or from professional social care or medical professionals
- Most children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow this advice. Speak to your GP or specialist clinician, if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable
- Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while this advice is in place. Your school will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home. Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school.
Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.
The government food boxes have now stopped and will not be reintroduced during this period of national restrictions. However, there are a number of ways you can still access support.
If you would like to receive a priority supermarket delivery slot, you can register your details on this Government form. You do not need to do this again if you already receive a priority slot. You should register an account online for all the participating supermarkets at the same time to allow your details to be matched – these are Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Iceland, Waitrose, Ocado.
The government form can also be used to register any other support needs you may have.
The NHS Volunteer Responders can continue to go shopping for you and pick up prescriptions. A check in and chat service is available for regular talks over the phone. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. More information is available on the NHS Volunteer Responders website.
If you need help with your finances or need other help or support as a result of Covid-19, please see our directory of financial support available in the borough.
If you are feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed during this period, please have a look at our list of mental health resources.
If you are in this group and need urgent support
Please contact our Community Hub:
If you don't currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered
You can arrange this by:
- Asking someone who can pick up your prescription to do so from the local pharmacy
- Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) to deliver it to you. You can find your local pharmacy online