What to do if you are identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable
If you have been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable, the government will be issuing additional advice and guidance for you during this latest lockdown period.
Remember, being identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable does not make you more likely to catch coronavirus. It means though that you are more likely to be more seriously affected by it, were you to catch it.
For that reason, it’s really important that you follow the guidance set out for you.
You are being asked to shield. That means, you should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home.
You can go outside for medical appointments or exercise but otherwise try to keep all contact with others outside of your household to a minimum and avoid busy areas. You can only meet one person from another household when outdoors.
You will be receiving a letter from the NHS or your GP with further guidance, and there is information available online for people identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable.
Shopping and additional support
You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you.
You can register to request access to priority supermarket deliveries, if you do not have someone you can ask to shop for you. If you already have a priority deliver slot with a supermarket, that will continue. When registering, you will be asked for your NHS number, which will be on the letter that the NHS sends you, or on a previous prescription.
You may want to ask friends, family or volunteers to collect shopping and medicines for you. Or, the NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to help support those who need it. Their volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit their website for further information.
In Devon, we also have a wide range of local charities and organisations who can help with shopping and medicines collection. To find a local charity or organisation near you, visit Pinpoint Devon.
Your local District Council can help signpost you to support that is available locally. Their telephone numbers are:
East Devon District Council – Phone: 01395 571500
Exeter City Council – Phone: 01392 265000
Mid Devon District Council – Phone: 01884 234387
North Devon Council – Phone: 01271 388280
South Hams District Council – Phone: 01803 861297
Teignbridge District Council – Phone: 01626 215512
Torridge District Council – Phone: 01237 428700
West Devon Borough Council – Phone: 01822 813683
Accessing health services
You can access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or contacting your health professional through an online consultation. To find out more visit Health at Home or download the NHS App. If you have an urgent medical need, call NHS 111, or for a medical emergency dial 999.
Any carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.
You may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily to enable you to work from home where possible. If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You may also be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance.