Shielding Advice

The shielded group are those individuals who have been identified by the NHS as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable – there are a number of specific health conditions that meet this criteria, which can be found in the Government’s guidance . These individuals will have been identified from a national database and will have been sent a letter by Government.

Our first priority has been to ensure that all those who need this support in Cornwall are identified, so following the first wave of letters which were sent out by government, Cornwall’s GP practices, the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, Derriford and other specialist hospitals looking after Cornwall residents have been reviewing their own patient lists to identify whether there are other people who meet the shielding criteria but did not receive a letter. From this review, it is estimated that approx 21,500 people meet the shielding criteria in Cornwall.

You can help us with this. You may know people in your local areas who think they should be on this list but haven’t received a letter. If you do know someone like this then please ask them to contact their GP as soon as possible.

The work being carried out by our community teams to support those being shielded is complex. Some of the people on the list are already known to us and in receipt of services and support. Many others will have support systems in place with family and friends and are not requesting help at this time. However, the shielding letter they have been sent from Government gives clear instructions on how to request support should they need it. As of the week ending 12th April there are 1705 people in Cornwall who have registered and requested support.

The Council has set up a multi-agency team from across council services, the NHS, the voluntary sector and food providers to co-ordinate support to individuals that require it. A call centre with dedicated shielding number (0300 1234 334 or [email protected]) is up and running with over 150 calls received to date (as of 12.04). A referral system is in place for food, medical and social support being offered and is as follows:

Food packages – The government is working with Brakes Wholesalers to send standard food packages directly to individuals. Since the Shielding programme begun over 2500 food parcels have been delivered. In the initial stages, whilst the government deliveries have been getting set up the Council has been providing emergency packages to those who have got in contact with us through our Shielding support line. For those with specific dietary requirements we have a referral route in place with Volunteer Cornwall to help purchase the food the individual needs. In addition to this, supermarkets are offering prioritised slots to vulnerable people. We are currently working with NHS colleagues to better understand how supermarkets are categorising ‘vulnerable’, whether this explicitly means the shielded cohort and what datasets they are using to help them prioritise.
Prescriptions and Medicine delivery – Prescription enquiries received by the contact centre are being referred to Volunteer Cornwall via [email protected] or by calling 01872 266988 for support in collection and delivery. For specific medical and complex prescription enquiries referrals are being made to the following email address; [email protected].

We are aware of a number of people who initially had support networks in place but have lost them as the virus spreads through Cornwall. In this instance, people are advised to return to the government website via (www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable) or phone the government’s shielding phone number 0800 028 8327 and amend their status to ‘requiring support’.

The call centre has also received a number of calls from people who do not want a food package. In this event then the recipient is requested to either let the delivery driver know this the next time they get a delivery so it can be returned and the records amended, or to go back onto the online register (www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable) or phone the government’s shielding phone number 0800 028 8327 to amend their records.

The key message is to either get in touch with the Council (0300 1234 334 or [email protected]) or Volunteer Cornwall ([email protected] or 01872 266988) if help is needed.