Help and support for vulnerable people - Coronavirus
Safe and well
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
During the national lockdown, the government has provided additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. You should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.
This guidance applies to clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.
We are working in partnership with Warrington Voluntary Action and other local organisations to deliver a 'Safe and Well' service to support you during this time. We can advise and provide practical support on any of the issues outlined below.
How to access support
It is important that if you have trusted family, friends or neighbours who you are able to call on for help, you should approach them if you need support.
However, if you do not have access to trusted help, you can access the safe and well service, for example:
- if you are struggling to source food
- if you are feeling worried or isolated and need someone to talk to during this challenging time
- if you are struggling to cope with other practicalities of staying at home
If you need additional help to follow the below guidance to stay at home safely, please let us know.
Or, you can call us anytime on 01925 442441 or 442443.
For more information about support available through local volunteers, visit Warrington Voluntary Action's website.
Or, email the team at email@example.com or call 01925 246881.
Stay at home
You must follow the rules that apply to everyone during the national lockdown and stay at home as much as possible.
Currently, clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to follow the shielding guidance set out below.
You can go outside, but try to keep all contact with others outside of your household to a minimum, and avoid busy areas. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. You are advised to stay at home as much as possible.
You can still remain in your support bubble, but you cannot meet with friends and family you do not live with unless they are part of your support bubble. This is part of the wider regulations in place in your area.
Try to stay two metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
You are strongly advised to work from home because the risk of exposure to the virus. If you cannot work from home, then you should not attend work.
You may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily to enable you to work from home where possible.
If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.
As you are being advised not to attend work, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The formal shielding letter you receive will act as evidence for your employer and the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.
Members of the household who are not clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home
As our knowledge of COVID-19 has grown, we now know that very few children and young people are at highest risk of severe illness due to the virus. Doctors have therefore been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk.
If you have already discussed this with your child’s doctors and they have confirmed your child is still considered clinically extremely vulnerable, your child should follow shielding advice and should not attend school, because the risk of exposure to the virus in your area may currently be very high.
Colleges, primary and secondary schools are open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.Your school or college will make appropriate arrangements for you to be able to continue your education at home.
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible and not to travel unless essential.
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. If you need further support, you can contact a Warrington Voluntary Action volunteer through our safe and well service, or the NHS Volunteer Responders.
You can register to request access to priority supermarket deliveries, if you do not have someone you can rely on to go shopping for you. If you already have a priority delivery slot with a supermarket, this will continue – you do not need to do anything further. When registering you will be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription.
Registering on the site just gives you priority. It does not mean you’ll definitely get a delivery slot. If you want access to priority supermarket deliveries, you will also need to set up an account with at least one supermarket and book slots yourself.
You are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy because the risk of exposure to the virus. In the first instance, you should ask if any friends, family or volunteers can collect medicines for you. If you need further support, you can contact a Warrington Voluntary Action volunteer through our safe and well service, or the NHS Volunteer Responders.
If friends and family are not able to collect your medicines for you, and you and/or the pharmacy are unable to arrange a volunteer, then you will 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.
Care and support
You can still receive informal care at home from people within your support bubble.
You can still receive care at home from professional social care and medical professionals.
A vaccine is likely to make an important contribution towards protecting you from COVID-19. Clinically extremely vulnerable people will get priority access to the vaccine before the general population and in line with the priority ordering set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
You will be contacted by the NHS with more information about when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine in due course. Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow the shielding advice until further notice.
How to access further support
You can also access the government's support service to get priority supermarket deliveries, if you haven't done so already.
You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.
It is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well.
Any carers or visitors who support you, or a child or young person in your care, with everyday needs, can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.
They should do so unless they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell).
If you are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, you should continue to access the NHS services you need during this time. This may be delivered in a different way or in a different place than you are used to, for example via an online consultation, but if you do need to go to hospital or attend another health facility for planned care, extra planning and protection will be put in place.
You should also continue to access support from the NHS Volunteer Responders if required, including help with shopping and medicines delivery, a regular, friendly phone call, and transport to and from medical appointments.
Visit the NHS Volunteer Responders website, or call 0808 196 3646, between 8am and 8pm to arrange support.
It is completely normal during these uncertain and unusual times to feel anxious or feel low.
Follow the advice that works for you in the guidance on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus.
The Every Mind Matters website offers advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.
Warrington’s mental health awareness website – happyoksad.warrington.gov.uk – has a directory of online, local and national support services available to help improve your mood, and details of what to do if someone is having a mental health crisis.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing a mental health crisis, call Warrington's freephone helpline on 0800 051 1508. Lines are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
There is financial support available for those who are self-isolating.
Recognising that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of coronavirus, a Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate with financial assistance.
Find out more about the payment, whether you're eligible, and how to apply on our self isolation webpage.