Council Leader outlines support for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People during lockdown
5 November 2020Cheshire West and Chester Council has brought in a contingency plan to support people who were previously shielding through the forthcoming lockdown.
People at higher risk of developing complications as a result of infection from COVID-19 will be written to this week by Government advising them of the latest guidance and giving advice on how they can protect themselves during the four-week lockdown period from 5 November until 2 December 2020.
People from this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments. They are advised they may wish to meet up with one other person from outside their household or support bubble to exercise outdoors, for example in an outdoor public place.
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people are advised to work from home and if they can’t work from home then not to go to work, not to go to the shops and pharmacies, and travel only where essential. Children in this group whose GP/ clinician has confirmed they need to remain on the CEV list should not attend school, and their school will make arrangements for them to continue their education at home.
People in this group may have previously received a letter from the NHS or from their GP advising them to shield in the past.
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Louise Gittins said: “Whilst a second lockdown is a worrying time for all of us as a community, we understand that those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable will be facing enormous challenges. We’d like to reassure all our residents that they are not alone and that the Government and the Council has plans in place to support those who need it the most.
“We all need to play our part to turn this around, so we encourage all residents to keep washing their hands, wearing face coverings, practice social distancing and follow the lockdown guidance at all times in order to stop the spread and keep our most vulnerable residents safe.”
The Government is writing to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people asking them to register on a national shielding support website using their NHS number (which is included on the letter). This will allow them access to priority supermarket delivery slots (if they already have one, they will keep it). Registering with the site will then automatically inform Cheshire West and Chester Council if they need help that cannot be provided by family, friends or neighbours.
Councillor Gittins continued: “We encourage everyone who receives a letter to register so that the Council has a full picture of everyone’s needs.
“Anyone who needs help registering with the national shielding website once they have received their letter can call our COVID-19 helpline 0300 123 7031 Monday to Friday: 8am until 7pm Saturday: 9am until 12.30pm and our call centre staff will be happy to help them register. Our staff can also help signpost people to other Council support services or put them in contact with NHS volunteer responders if they need additional support.”
The guidance places strong emphasis on looking after mental health, signposting people to the NHS 'Every Mind Matters' website and urging them to continue to seek support from the NHS for existing health conditions and any new health concerns. Cheshire and Wirral partnership also operate a mental health helpline for residents of Cheshire and Wirral on 0300 303 3972.
The ‘Coping with Coronavirus’ section on the Live Well Cheshire West website continues to be updated with information on shops which deliver locally throughout the borough and services, groups and organisations who offer help in partnership with the Council and NHS.