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Helping the people of Leicester to have long and healthy lives.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group

Shielding vulnerable people

Some people are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus and need to take extra precautions:

  • if are 70 or older
  • if you are pregnant
  • if you have a condition that may increase your risk from coronavirus.

You should only leave the house for very limited purposes such as buying food, collecting medication or attending health appointments.

Getting support

Hundreds of thousands of volunteers are available to help with tasks such as collecting shopping and prescribed medicines or driving patients to medical appointments. If you need help, ask your GP practice or another health or social care professional to refer you to NHS Volunteer Responders.  Please visit: www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk for more details of the support available.

If you have received a letter asking you to self-isolate because you have been identified as high risk, you can also self-refer to NHS Volunteer Responders by calling 0808 196 3646, 8am to 8pm.

You can read more about the service here: NHS Volunteer Responders 

You can also contact your local council to request support:

Prescriptions

Many more people than usual will be relying on others to collect their medicines due to shielding requirements. Community pharmacies are under considerable pressure and meeting the additional demand through deliveries of medicines may be difficult.

In the first instance if you have been identified as vulnerable and/or shielding we encourage you to arrange for collections from family, friends or someone else well known to you and who you can trust. If this support isn’t available, ask your GP practice or another health or social care professional to refer you to NHS Volunteer Responders as described above.

We would advise shielded patients to try the above approach first, before contacting the pharmacy for help.

Volunteer voucher card scheme

ASDA, Sainsbury’s and M&S now offer a volunteer voucher card scheme. These can be purchased online by residents who are self-isolating and given to their family, friends or volunteers who are helping them with shopping. These are available to purchase online so will not be an option for all our residents. However, it is a good way to safeguard both residents and volunteers where possible as these are cashless transactions and avoid the need to share bank cards/details etc. More details can be found on the supermarket websites:

Additional information for certain groups (click to expand)

If you are pregnant

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has produced some specific advice for pregnant women. Click here for more information.

If you are classed as 'most at risk'

Some people are considered to be even more at risk from coronavirus, they are sometimes refered to as “shielded” or “extremely vulnerable” people.

This includes people who:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you have been identified as a Shielded Patient you should avoid face-to-face contact with others, except for carers and healthcare workers where contact is necessary as part of your care.

The people on the Shielded Patient List are at the highest clinical risk of severe illness were they to contract COVID-19, hence these stringent and restrictive guidelines, which are designed to protect people by stopping them from coming into contact with the virus.

While most people on the list were identified using central records, a significant number were identified by GPs and hospital clinicians reviewing their patient lists.

Each of these patients should have received a letter from the NHS advising them to follow shielding guidance.  It is important to note that the Shielded Patient List will change over time with the addition of people who are newly diagnosed or who are prescribed new medications which means they now fall into this ‘highest clinical risk’ group. As new patients are identified, they will receive a letter confirming their status on the list, as well as information signposting them to the support on offer, as described above.

You can read more about this here.

What you should do if you are ‘most at risk’

People most at risk from coronavirus need to shield themselves from getting coronavirus. This means you need to take extra steps to avoid getting it.

Do:

  • stay at home at all times – do not leave your home to buy food, collect medicine or exercise
  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people in your home as much as possible
  • get food and medicine delivered and left outside your door – ask friends and family to help or register to get coronavirus support on GOV.UK if you need it
  • prepare a hospital bag, including a list of the medicines you’re taking – in case you need to go into hospital
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • make sure anyone who comes into your home washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (like door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • clean a shared bathroom each time you use it, for example by wiping the surfaces you have touched

Don’t:

  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, unless they’re providing essential care
  • do not stop taking any prescription medicines without speaking to your doctor

Updates for shielded patients

The National Shielding Service is writing to some shielded patients following a review of requirements for those individuals. This means that people who receive a letter from their GP or hospital clinician telling them this is the case for them, are no longer required to shield.

As a result, those people will no longer receive support such as food boxes and medicines collections. However, anyone needing some extra help may be eligible for priority delivery slots at supermarkets as well as help through the NHS Responder volunteer scheme.
This includes collecting and delivering shopping, medicines, and other essential supplies – or if you just want someone to check in and have a chat with you.

NHS Responder can be contacted on 0808 1963646 between 8am and 8pm.