Government support for the clinically extremely vulnerable (also known as the shielding population) is about to be paused but what does this mean and how might you be affected if you have been shielding?

Over the COVID-19 crisis, anyone with a medical condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus has been advised to stay at home and keep outside interactions to a minimum. Support, such as free food parcels, has also been available.

On the 1 August (Saturday) the government is pausing shielding. This means if you have been shielding you no longer have to, although you are still advised to stay at home as much as you can.

Free food parcels, medical deliveries and care from the National Shielding Service will stop although volunteers will still be available to assist with deliveries of food and prescriptions and those registered will still be eligible for priority supermarket delivery slots.

Full details of the changes can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Northamptonshire County Council will continue to offer support where it is needed but everybody is now urged to take personal responsibility for their needs. If you need help, then consider asking relatives, friends and neighbours first.

If you need a volunteer to help you then please call NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).

If you are unable to get the help you need or have any query on other support available within Northamptonshire, then you may still call the County Council support line on 0300 126 1000 and select Option 5 (8am to 6pm). The Council may be able to assist putting you in touch with a local volunteer who can help with ongoing needs, suggest somebody to help you get online or register you for supermarket deliveries if you missed the national deadline.

Further advice from the NHS for people at high risk from coronavirus may be found at:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/advice-for-people-at-high-risk/