Shielded Group Support
Welsh Government and NHS Wales have identified 81,000 people in Wales whose existing medical conditions put them at higher clinical risk from coronavirus. These individuals are referred to as the ‘Shielded Group’, these individuals required to self-isolate for a period of 12 weeks or more.
Welsh Government are prioritising those in the ‘Shielded Group’ who are unable to rely on family, friends or local community support for adequate practical support throughout the period of shielding.
What does this mean for me?
For the ‘Shielded Group’, Welsh Government in partnership with Councils, is arranging for the provision of a basic package of food and household essentials to be supplied and delivered direct to doors. Councils have committed to contacting all of those on the NHS Shielding list to ensure they have adequate support.
If you have NOT received a letter from the NHS advising you to remain in self-isolation for 12 weeks, you are NOT ELIGIBLE for this support, even if you think you should receive this.
What support is available?
The offer of support for those who are being shielded, but DO NOT have a support network they can rely on is:
- Food: deliver basic food parcels directly to doorsteps.
- Medicines: delivery of medicines where required, which will be arranged through Surgeries/NHS and Pharmacies.
Residents who are not in the ‘Shielded Group’ but have no support network to collect prescriptions or do food shopping on their behalf can request assistance here.
When Council Staff call they WON'T:
- Ask you for any financial details (bank details, card numbers or for any form of payment)
- Ask you for your address, we will tell you your address
- Ask you anything about delivery dates and times – these are arranged by Welsh Government
When Council Staff call they WILL:
- Give you our name, and details of how to verify our identity.
- Already know your name, address and telephone number – we will confirm this to you.
- Check we are talking to you directly or your Carer
- Check whether you have family/friends or other support
- Ask you if you need to take up the offer of a Welsh Government Food Parcel
- Let you know how to get our help it you need it in future
Anyone that is part of the Shielding Group can sign up to Wales & West Utilities. Priority Services Register. This will provide you with free additional services if there is a power cut or in the unlikely event of an interruption to your gas supply. You can find out more at: www.wwutilities.co.uk/priority
Who is being targeted for this additional ‘Shielding’ support?
- NHS Wales has identified 81,000 people in Wales whose existing medical conditions put them at higher clinical risk from COVID-19. The list of medical conditions is very specific and has been chosen by experts in agreement across UK nations. The conditions are of a severe nature e.g. cystic fibrosis, severe respiratory disorders, lung cancers, organ donation recipients, etc. It does not include other health conditions such as diabetes or less severe asthma.
- Shielded people are urged to stay at home, at all times, and avoid all face-to-face contact - except for with essential carers and healthcare workers - for at least 12 weeks. This shielding is designed to protect them from serious illness as well as taking pressure off the NHS providing the most acute care.
- Further information from Welsh Government on Shielding, who is eligible for support, and what you should do is available on Gov.Wales
How has the Shielded Group been contacted?
The ‘Shielded Group’ has been contacted by NHS Wales by letter to confirm that they are considered to be at risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19.
On 24 March 2020 the Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director NHS Wales sent out letters to all of those people in our Communities that needed to be kept safe and ‘shielded’ from the Virus.
It said ‘You are receiving this letter because you have an existing health issue – or you care for someone who does. This means it is very important you take extra steps to avoid catching coronavirus (also known as COVID-19)’
‘The best way to avoid getting coronavirus is to stay at home for the next 12 weeks. You should not have any visitors apart from your carers and healthcare workers’
- The letter advises shielded people to rely on family, friends and other local support networks to help with anything they may need during the period they are being asked to isolate. If a shielded person does not have anyone to rely on for help, they are asked to contact their local authority.
If you need to talk to some-one for a health concern related to Coronavirus please call 111
If you need emergency medical assistance please contact - 999