Patients at particularly high risk of complications from COVID-19 infection include people on drugs which suppress the immune system, poorly controlled diabetics, people with COPD who have had
more than 2 courses of prednisolone in the last year, people with severe asthma or heart failure, people without a spleen and transplant patients.
1.Essential grocery supplies – a free, standardised weekly parcel of food
and household essentials, as well as priority delivery slots with supermarkets (currently only available to those who are already registered with the supermarket in
2.Medicines – arrangements to have medicines delivered to people’s homes
by local community pharmacies and dispensing doctors; and
3.Social contact and basic needs – for example, emotional or social
support such as people to talk to on the phone or via a computer.
•To receive support, people must be in
receipt of a letter from the NHS, or from their GP/hospital clinician, advising them to follow shielding guidance due to their medical condition.
•Please note, there may be a short delay
between people being identified as clinically highest clinical risk, a flag being applied to their patient record, and support arriving.
•If people receive a letter, and do not
register with the Government support website, Government call agents will contact them directly to confirm whether they have a need, and to help them register if
Other patients at risk (those over 70 and anyone under 70 who would ordinarily qualify for a flu vaccination) should continue to practice social distancing.
Direct to doorstep deliveries
•Government has offered a ‘direct to
doorstep’ weekly food parcel delivery service for all those who are ‘highest clinical risk’ who require support getting essential supplies. This service will continue for as long as it is needed, to
protect those who are shielding.
•Each parcel is based on a 7-day supply of
essential items for one person, and includes food items, as well as toilet tissue plus hand soap and/or shower gel.
•An A4 note is included in each package,
explaining that if the recipient has any allergies, and/or religious or cultural dietery requirements, they should contact their local council.
The note also asks people to contact their council if they
feel they need more than one package per week.
•Food parcels are delivered by major food
service suppliers, directly to the doorstep.
•If there is no answer, the parcel will be
left on the doorstep or recorded as ‘unable to access’, if leaving the parcel would mean leaving it at a communal entrance.
•Delivery drivers will observe strict
social distancing measures when delivering food parcels.
•Delivery drivers will report on the
outcome of individual deliveries. This information will be shared with local councils.
•The Government Digital Service has
provided supermarkets with the details of people who are shielding, and have requested food parcels. They are able to prioritise the highest clinical risk group for click and collect services and/or
•To receive a priority supermarket slot,
shielding individuals must register on the Government Support website once they have received their NHS letter, or use the automated telephone line. When signing up, they must request essential food
supplies for their data to be passed on to supermarkets.
•The NHS has put in place arrangements for
individuals to have medicines delivered by local community pharmacies and dispensing doctors during the COVID-19 outbreak, if they have requested help with this via the Government support
•Medicines are being delivered by
community pharmacies, or dispensing doctors, to eligible individuals who, due to their medical condition, should not present at the pharmacy, or at the dispensing doctor dispensary, and where there
is no other person who can collect the item from the pharmacy and deliver it to the clinical extremely vulnerable person’s door.
•This service will continue until the
COVID-19 outbreak has subsided and Government decides that community pharmacies and dispensing practices are no longer required to provide home delivery services.
•Where there is no family, friend,
neighbour or carer, please contact the delivery service.
•Local councils are key to the effective delivery of this component of the offer to highest clinical risk patients who are shielding, and who have registered with the Government website and
requested assistance with social and basic care needs.
•Local councils should
contact those people who have indicated, either
via the Government support website, call centre, direct contact with the council or another partner, that they require help to meet their basic needs (e.g. help with bathing, domestic chores) to
ensure these are met. Councils will assess what help is required and how best individuals can be supported, using existing resources or the voluntary and community sector as
•People who are shielding may experience
anxiety, fear and loneliness during this period, especially those who have no network of friends, family or neighbours nearby.
•Data shared by the Government support
website with councils will indicate whether an individual has requested social contact during the period they are required to shield.
•It is for
local councils to determine the best way to coordinated this support, locally, working with voluntary
and community sector partners.
Help from family, friends and neighbours
If you’re self-isolating you may need help with things like shopping or looking after pets. If you can, please contact family, friends or
neighbours and let them know how they can help you. To avoid physical contact we suggest that you get in touch by phone or using email or other technology. This will help us to focus on the most
vulnerable and protect people who don’t have anyone who can help them.
How we can help if your family, friends and neighbours can’t
If you don’t have anyone who can help you can contact the local council on 01609 780780 every day between 8am and 5:30pm and we will direct you to the right
We’re working closely with our borough and district council partners and have a network of community support organisations across the county
that we can connect you with.