Earlier this year, the Government, working with the NHS added more people to the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ or ‘shielding’ list. This is a list of people who have known risk factors which mean that they may be at increased risk of having a more severe reaction to COVID-19 if they were to catch it.
We have been informed that around 1,700 Hyndburn residents have been included on the updated national NHS list of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people and should have already received a letter from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS asking them to shield at home until the end of March 2021.
Our local response to the pandemic has centred around the Hyndburn Hub – a group of organisations working with Hyndburn Borough Council to provide support to everyone and especially to those on the clinically extremely vulnerable list.
We have included information and links below to help you to stay safe, stay healthy and stay at home as much as possible. If you have any questions or need any help please contact us at the Hyndburn Hub on 01254 388 111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Food, Shopping and Medication
You may have already taken up the offer of a priority slot with a supermarket since receiving a shielding letter. Even at the end of the current lockdown, your slot will still be available and we recommend moving to online shopping so that you limit your chances of encountering the virus.
If you have not set up a priority slot, you can do so online or over the phone with the Hub. You will need your NHS number to register so have it handy before you register or call us.
There are seven supermarkets signed up to the priority delivery scheme and you will need to have an online account with your preferred supermarket. More details are available online or by calling us at the Hub. Our Hub team have information about the different offers from supermarkets and we can help you to set up an account if you don’t already have one.
Shopping locally is a great way to contribute to our own community and there are many options to arrange delivery with local suppliers. If you need help finding contact details or need advice, please contact our Hub team.
Our amazing Hyndburn Hub Volunteers are still active and if you need help, some shopping or an errand running, please get in touch and we can match you up with one of our volunteers. The service is free but you will have to pay for your shopping.
If you are struggling to afford essential items or food, please contact our Hub team as soon as you can. We can refer you discreetly and quickly to one of many local support services through our Food Solutions network.
If you do not already get your prescriptions delivered, setting this up now means you will not have to make unnecessary trips to pharmacies or risk of running out of medication. Contact your pharmacy for advice on ordering your medication or to arrange delivery. Most delivery services are free and many have apps or online ordering forms.
Money and Employment
Some people have found when shielding that they could not access their bank, Post Office or building society accounts online and they struggled to access cash and pay bills. Now is a great time to set up online banking and Direct Debits for your essential bills so that you don’t fall behind or make unnecessary trips outs.
Almost all utilities and regular household bills can be paid online, via standing order or by Direct Debit. If you are unsure how to set this up, contact the company or organisation you want to pay or contact your bank.
If you are able to work from home effectively, you should. If you are able to work from home for part of your working hours, this is still a good idea as it will limit your potential exposure to the virus. If working from home is not possible for you, you can go to work providing that your workplace is COVID-secure.
Mental health and loneliness
We know from experience that many types of isolation can influence our mental health and that loneliness can affect both our mental and physical wellbeing. We also know that there are people in our communities working to combat this and we have a number of partners who can help with support and friendship. If you feel that you need support, please, let us know – we are in this together.
Being on the shielding list also means that you will be prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccination. When you are contacted, if you have any questions or need support please let us know.
Further help and advice
If you need support, advice or any help please contact our Hyndburn Hub team. We are here to help everyone but especially those who are at higher risk of complications or severe illness if they catch Coronavirus.
If English is not your first language or you would like to know more about how our BAME network is working with the Hyndburn Hub, please contact us.