Protecting people most at risk from COVID
Shielding stopped from 1 April 2021
Shielding has currently been paused for those residents who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or more at risk from the effects of COVID-19. The current guidance came into effect from 1 April 2021. This means if you have previously been shielding you will no longer need to shield The amended Government guidance can be found here Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Questions and Answers
1. What was shielding?
Shielding was about minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19. During the height of the pandemic in practical terms, this meant that those who were advised to shield should:-
* not leave their house except to attend health appointments including vaccination appointments
* not attend work, school or university. Work from home where possible
* strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying COVID-19 symptoms
* not go out for shopping or to a pharmacy and when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact
* not travel
A benefit of being added to the Shielded Patient List meant that these people were given priority access to having a vaccination, if they hadn't already been vaccinated
More information and how people can register for support if needed can be found on the GOV.UK website Get support if you're clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What help and support is available?
Shopping for essentials
Priority access to supermarket deliveries ended on 21 June 2021.
- Wherever possible you should ask friends, family or neighbours who are well to go out and get food and essentials for you. If someone 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 don't have anyone to help you and don't want to/can't shop online, there may be community groups who can help in your area or your local shops may be able to provide orders for delivery (by phone or by email)
- You could also get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme; you can call 0808 196 3646 and ask for help with food, prescriptions and essential items.
- British Red Cross free Coronavirus support line is available if you need supplies 0808 196 3651 calls between 10am and 6pm. The shopping is done via their Huggg system, a link will be emailed to you which will enable you to write a shopping list, pay for a voucher and then a volunteer will go out and do the shopping for you and deliver it.
Picking up prescriptions and medicines
- Do you have any friends or family that are able to collect your prescription for you?
- Some local pharmacies have a free delivery service others may charge - you will need to check with them what delivery service is available
- The NHS Volunteer Scheme can also arrange for volunteers to pick up your medicines and deliver them to you. You can arrange this by calling 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).
Local help and support is still available
If you are still unable to rely on friends, family or neighbours to help with picking up essentials or prescriptions, rest assured there is still local help and support available. You can call the Community Helpline or contact your local district or borough council a list of contact numbers can be found on the Coronavirus I need help webpages.