Message from Wendy Lowder, Executive Director, Adults and Communities – 13 November 2020

Advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable

We’re following up the letter from the Government to people thought to be clinically extremely vulnerable, asking them to follow the advice and keep safe.

If you are in this category you will also need to register your details on the government’s website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. as this will help you to: 

  • get access to priority supermarket deliveries (if you’ve already got priority supermarket deliveries, you’ll keep them)
  • ask for someone to contact you about any local support that’s available
  • update your details - for example, your address. 

You’ll need your NHS number (you can find this on any letter the NHS has sent you). If you or anyone you know doesn’t have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, you can call (01226) 774 444 and we’ll help you to register. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else. 

Don’t forget you can also find lots of information ranging from financial support to health and wellbeing advice on our website - barnsley.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Care home visits 

We continue to work closely with care home providers, families, and local professionals to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to social care staff and vulnerable residents.

Guidance has been provided setting out measures that can be put in place to provide COVID-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits. We’ve suggested to our care homes that they may consider purchasing equipment such as screens to prevent the risk of infection and we will continue to work alongside them to enable this to happen where safe to do so.

By working together, we can plan a way forward that reduces the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and has the wellbeing of staff, families, and residents as a priority.

Our Winter Plan 

Each winter, we need to keep people safe and well. This year, we also have additional winter pressures and COVID-19 to consider. We are currently finalising our Winter Plan for Adult Social Care which when brought together with our partners' plans across hospital, primary and community healthcare will set out how the health and care system will be as resilient as possible through the winter months.  The plans cover a range of areas such as preventing and controlling the spread of infection in care settings, collaboration across health and care services and the community and voluntary sector, workforce resilience, carer support, and other areas. 

Help us share our messages 

We know that not everyone has access to the internet or uses social media – especially some of our older residents. If you have older relatives, friends or neighbours, please help us to keep them up to date with our key messages:

  • If you display any of the symptoms of COVID-19, even if they’re mild, you should isolate immediately and either book a test at a local testing unit or order a home testing kit.
  • Stay at home as much as possible, along with regularly washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping two metres apart from people you do not live with. This is the best way of helping to reduce transmission across the borough.
  • There is support available for finances, mental health, isolation, and more – call (01226) 774444.

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