Vulnerable people and carers
Shielding and extremely vulnerable people
The government has announced that shielding advice is to end on 1 April 2021.
If you have previously been advised to shield, you will receive a letter from the government in the next couple of weeks.
The council will also be writing to you and signposting you to the support available to you locally once this change happens.
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.
The NHS has information for people at higher risk from coronavirus.
GOV.UK has a number of translations of the current guidance for people who have been asked to Shield.
NHS Volunteer Responders offer support to those who need it, including collecting and delivering food and medicines. The NHS Volunteer Responders Scheme has been expanded to offer a new Check in and Chat Plus role. This new role has been designed to provide peer support and companionship to people who are isolated and may be feeling cut off if they are staying at home more to protect their health.
If you need support and help with shopping, prescription collection or other essential supplies, visit our get help and support page for a directory of the community support groups in South Gloucestershire. Each listing in the directory includes contact details for the group so you can get in touch with them directly.
If you have been unable to get the support you require call our Covid-19 freephone number 0800 953 7778 open 08.45 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs and 08.45 to 16.30 Fridays.
Adult care and support
If you have questions and concerns about your care or you are worried about a friend or family member, there is a lot of helpful information on our Find information for adults, children and families website. You can call our Adult Care team on 01454 868007 to talk to someone about your care needs.
Guidance for people who receive direct payments is available on our direct payments and impact of the coronavirus page.
Protecting everyone in South Gloucestershire is our highest priority, especially the most vulnerable.
You can read South Gloucestershire’s care home support plan, which sets out what we are currently doing, and what we plan to do, to support all our care homes and enable resilience across South Gloucestershire.
For local policies and procedures in care homes, such as visiting arrangements contact the care home direct or contact your social care provider for further information.
The government guidance for care homes is available to read on the GOV.UK website: Coronavirus (Covid-19): admission and care of people in care homes.
Care home visiting guidance
Visiting is a central part of care home life. It is crucially important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also vital for family and friends to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones and contribute to their support and care.
Named visitors will need to follow some important steps to reduce the risk of infection to the person they are visiting and to others in the care home.
The full latest national guidance on visiting care homes during Covid-19 is also available.
We are supporting local care homes as they work through their plans to provide safe visiting opportunities for families in line with the latest government guidance. Local advice will continue to be reviewed and updated in line with any local infection rates and changes in national guidance.
Individual care homes will share their visitor policy and arrangements with families, including infection control measures for visits. This will include a booking system for visits. Ad hoc or unannounced visits will not be possible. You should contact the care home directly if you have any queries about visiting.
Our Covid-19 dashboard provides the latest published Covid-19 figures for South Gloucestershire.
In the event of a suspected outbreak in a care home, the care home should report this to the South West Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection team immediately. The home should rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors in line with advice given by our Director of Public Health and the South West Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection team.
Assistive technology is a term used to explain any device that can assist you to live more independently within your home. It can support you to maintain a safer home environment or help you to complete daily tasks and reduce the risk of accidents.
For further information and advice visit the assistive technology to support independence within the home section on our Find information for adults, children and families website.
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker, and children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans. More information can be found on our Special Educational Needs and Disability page.
Support for carers
For information on available support for carers including young carers and parent carers visit our support for carers page.
Help with food
Priority supermarket food delivery
Some supermarkets are offering priority delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable people who need extra support to get food. We are part of the government scheme run by Defra (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and may be able to refer you directly for a priority supermarket delivery slot. These are only available to residents who need extra support to get food.
You can read our privacy notice for the supermarket referral scheme.
If you are healthy and able, and not at greater risk of coronavirus (such as for health reasons), supermarkets encourage you to shop in store, following guidance from staff and signage on social distancing, wearing a face covering and regularly cleaning your hands.
To access the priority supermarket delivery scheme you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- you are an elderly or vulnerable person** who does not have a support network to get food (like family, friends, neighbours)
- you are self-isolating at home as you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a positive test and unable to go out and buy food
Note that you (or a carer or family member) must be able to do online shopping and pay for the food.
If you are eligible, you can choose between Tesco and Iceland deliveries.
- for Tesco deliveries, the minimum spend is £40
- for Iceland, the minimum spend is £25
If you are considering an Iceland delivery, please first check with Iceland’s website that they deliver to your postcode.
If you would like to contact us about referral to the scheme you can call 0800 953 7778 or email Prioritysupermarketdelivery@southglos.gov.uk
We are able to help from Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
** You may be a vulnerable person if you were shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable and you are having difficulty getting food, and or you have a disability or have a long-term health condition and you are having difficulty shopping.
Emergency food aid
Support is available for those experiencing food poverty. There are a number of food banks in South Gloucestershire for emergencies. Visit the One You South Gloucestershire website food support page for more information.
Southern Brooks Community Support Helpline can put you in touch with people in your local community to help you while you are isolating or need support for food and basic provisions.
Contact Communitysupport@southernbrooks.org.uk , telephone 0333 5774666 (Monday- Friday 9am-5pm)
You can also contact the Citizens Advice national helpline telephone 0800 144 8444 and/or the Citizens Advice dedicated line for Trussell Trust Foodbanks on 0808 208 2138 (Monday – Friday 10am-4pm) for advice and support.
Beware of scams
Criminals may use the coronavirus pandemic to carry out scams online, over the phone, or in person. Visit the Action Fraud website for the latest advice.
Watch out for fake GOV.UK emails about council tax reductions. Never respond to emails or texts that ask for your personal or financial information.
Age UK have published information and advice on what you can do if you are worried about being scammed.
Visit the South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board website for information and advice on protecting vulnerable adults from crime including fraud, scams and rogue traders.
Domestic abuse and high risk situations
For information, advice and support on domestic abuse, safeguarding concerns, substance misuse and homelessness visit our domestic abuse and high risk situations page.
If you have not found the information you are looking for, you can find the specific contact details for our services and teams in our directory. Check our contact us section.
We have a Freephone number for queries about the council’s Covid-19 response, including where to get help and how services are changing in light of staffing issues and other pressures. The number is 0800 953 7778 and it will be answered by our trained contact centre staff, who will be able to provide information and direct you to the right place for the right help.
This line is only for Covid-19-related queries, for all other enquiries continue to use our main contact centre number: 01454 868009.