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Help for clinically extremely vulnerable residents

Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall are reassuring clinically extremely vulnerable residents that support is at hand if they need help with food shopping, medical prescriptions and wellbeing support during the current lockdown. 

The government has advised everyone who has a health condition which makes them clinically extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and who may have been shielding previously to stay at home as much as possible during this period of restrictions across England, except to go outdoors to exercise or to attend health appointments.  

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They have been asked to work from home if possible and if they cannot work from home, they should not attend work. They may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during thlockdown. 

Those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are also asked to avoid all non-essential travel – they should continue to travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by their doctor. They are strongly advised not to go to any shops or to pharmacies. 

Cornwall Council is working with partners in the health and voluntary sector to continue to support clinically extremely vulnerable residents in accessing food and essential supplies during this lockdown.   

Those in this group are eligible for free medicines delivery from community pharmacies during this period if friends and family are not able to collect prescriptions or medicines on their behalf. Prescriptions should continue to be ordered from the GP as normal, either electronically or via telephone. 

Supermarkets are continuing to provide priority delivery slots to vulnerable individuals and if residents need help getting online, for example to register for an online supermarket account, they can ring Cornwall Council’s support line for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable on 0300 1233334 or contact Volunteer Cornwall 

Volunteer Cornwall can also help collect and deliver shopping and medical prescriptionsas well as provide befriending support and volunteers who can help with other low level needs.   

Health services remain available and residents with a complex need or medical question should contact their GP or health consultant.  

Anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else's mental health can contact 0800 038 5300 for help and support. 

Sally Hawken, Cornwall’s cabinet member for Children, Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Together with NHS Kernow and Volunteer Cornwall we are continuing our support for our most vulnerable residents in the coming weeks. Do get in touch with us if you need help with food shopping, prescriptions or if you are feeling anxious, and we will endeavour to help.” 

Nicola Thomas, deputy director of quality from NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to thank our community pharmacies and Volunteer Cornwall who are once again delivering medication to our clinically extremely vulnerable. This will help people who have been told by the government not to go to pick up prescriptions themselves and don’t have family or a friend who is able to do it for them. This is another example of the wonderful community spirit and unity in Cornwall that is helping to make things a little easier during a difficult time.” 

Emma Rowse, Chair of Volunteer Cornwall, said: “We will once again be mobilising volunteers across the county to support those who are vulnerable and isolating at home.  Working with partners in health, Cornwall Council and the wider voluntary sector, we will be able to provide a range of services for those in need.  If you would like to volunteer, you can register with us on our website https://www.volunteercornwall.org.uk/want-to-volunteer or by emailing mid@volunteercornwall.org.uk. Volunteer Cornwall will match people who ring up needing help with the community volunteers in their local area – or, if they have more complex needs, with specialist services.” 

The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with reduced immune systems, for example due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. The group list is updated regularly as patients’ conditions or the scientific evidence changes, so the majority will have received a letter previously from the NHS or their GP advising them of their inclusion. 

For more information or advice contact Cornwall Council on covid19@cornwall.gov.uk or ring 0300 1234 334. 

You can also contact Volunteer Cornwall on 01872 266988 or email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk 

Story posted November 11, 2020