What is shielding?
If the NHS has identified you, or the named person you care for, as someone who may be at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) you should have received a letter advising you to shield. You will have recieved this letter because you have an underlying disease or health condition that means if you catch the virus, you are more likely to be admitted to hospital than others.
You will therefore have been advised to “shield”. This means the safest course of action is for you to stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact. The Government is currently advising people to shield until 30th June and is regularly monitoring this position. Shielding will protect you by stopping you from coming into contact with the virus.
The exception to shielding is carers and healthcare workers who you may have tosee as part of your medical care.
How can you access GP services?
Please contact us as usual for any health related queries by contacting the reception team on 01509 239166. We are still open and will deal with your concern as safely as we can. Wherever possible, Woodbrook will initially provide care by phone or online by video consultation.
Following this initial appointment, if we decide you need to be seen in person, we have a “clean” area for mobile shielded patients to be seen in within the practice.
Clinician home visits are reserved for housebound shielding patients.
Some health conditions require monitoring tests, for example regular blood tests. We are still providing these here at Woodbrook for our shielding patients. Please call the reception team to book in if you are due for monitoring tests.
You can also access us online for non-urgent administrative or medical queries (for example medication related issues) via our e-CONTACT service
Click here to launch the e-CONTACT log in page.
NHS England have written to the hospitals to ask them to review any ongoing care that you have with them. It is possible that some clinics and appointments will be cancelled or postponed. Your hospital or clinic will contact you if any changes need to be made to your care or treatment. Otherwise you should assume your care or treatment is taking place as planned.
Please contact your hospital or clinic directly if you have any questions about a specific appointment. Your hospital teams contact details are found on the top of your hospital clinic letter.
Out of Hours/ Emergency Care
Out of GP opening hours, your urgent care should be initially guided by calling NHS 111. This can also be accessed online at https://111.nhs.uk/
Local emergency departments remain open at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Nottingham QMC.
Some of our shielding patients have contacted us to discuss their future care wishes. A care plan allows us to record what you might want in the event that your health deteriorates. They are particularly useful if you need contact with out of hours services or require a hospital admission. We can then follow your wishes to the best of our ability, should your healthcare needs change.
We are happy to offer this service to you, if you feel it appropriate. We suggest you call our reception team and ask to book an appointment with the GP who knows your case-history best.
You usual GP will continue to review your medications and will contact you if they feel they need to discuss.
We have several options available for you to request your repeat prescriptions.
We are able to give you a 'Pharmacy Ordering Exemption' and this will allow you to call your usual pharmacy to request any medications you may need. They will then contact us to order on your behalf. This may take the pressure off and allow you to order your medication in plenty of time to ensure your supply does not run out.
You can also order your medications online using SystmOnline. If you do not have an online account please contact our reception team who will be able to give you access to your online record. They may ask you to send a copy of your ID or may ask you questions to confirm your identity.
If you are struggling to order your repeat prescriptions please call our reception team and let them know as they may be able to help you.
Please note that due to national medication shortages we are not able to issue more than your usual quantity of medications.
The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:
1. Asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy, (this is the best option, if possible)
2. Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) or deliver it to you.
3. In some cases, if none of the above are available, the pharmacy may arrange for medicines to be delivered directly to the patient themselves. This depends upon patient eligibility for the service, as determined by the pharmacist.
You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.
You can also receive assistance for collecting your medications through several volunteer schemes listed below.
Government support links
If you have been identified as sombody who is at risk and you do not have anyone who can help you to get food or medicine please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 0288327.
Your shielding letter is evidence, for your employer, to show that you cannot work outside the home. You do not need to get a fit note from your GP.
If you need help from the benefit system visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit
Useful local support links
Good Samaritan Self Referral - 0808 1963646
GoodSAM use a team of volunteers to provide community support. They can help with:
- Shopping collection and delivery
- Medication and Prescription collection and delivery
- They can also offer short term telephone support if you are struggling with loneliness as a consequence of your self isolation.
John Storer Charwood is working with Charnwood Borough Council and other organisations to support people in our community who may be struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be able to access:
- Having your prescriptions collected/delivered
- Help with food shopping
- Help with walking your dog
- Help with transport to/from appointments (Dial a ride - there may be a charge for this service)
To refer yourself for this help please call 01509 631750 (Mon-Fri 08.30 - 5.30pm) Or complete this form: JOHN STORER CHARNWOOD REFERRAL FORM
For more information visit John Storer Charnwood
Carer support - VASL
VASL is a local charity that proivides services to improve the lives of people in our community. This includes support for carers of any age and people who are lonely and isolated. To get in touch with VASL call 01858 433232 or visit VASL - Register for services
Age UK have launched a helpline to offer practical and emotional support to those over 70, especially those who are self isolating and live alone. Call 0116 2992239 to speak with an advisor or visit AGE UK
If you are feeling lonely or isolated there are several charities and services that can offer you help.
John Storer Charnwood - 01509 631750 (Mon-Fri 08.30am-5.30pm)
Age UK offer a telephone befriending service for people over 60.
Click here to sign up for AGE UK befriending service
GoodSAM offer a Check in and Chat support for those who are lonely as a consequence of self-isolation. Call 0808 196 3646 to refer yourself or complete the following referral form: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSreferral
Mental health and wellbeing
The COVID-19 pandemic is going to have an impact on everyones daily lives and you may begin to feel anxious or worried, or be concerned about your health or that of those close to you. Everybody reacts differently and it's important that you take care of your mind as well as your body and seek further support if you need it.
This is a useful guide to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus Pandemic: COVID-19 Guidance for the public
For more information and support please click here Managing your mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19
Transport to NHS Appointments
GoodSAM can provide a patient transport service to help you get to your NHS appointments.
If you need this service please contact the surgery so we can make a referral for you.
REGISTER AT GOV.UK
Priority in accessing supermarket delivery slots
To be eligible for priority access to supermarket delivery slots you will need to register on the gov.uk website and answer 'no' when you are asked if you have any way of getting essential supplies. Once you have registered the government shares your information with the supermarkets.
What is each supermarket doing to help?
- Aldi has launched a food parcel for home delivery containing a range of store cupboard items, such as tinned soups, pasta and rice, as well as tea, coffee and personal care items, including hand soap and toilet roll. The contents are worth around £20 and there’s a £5 fee for picking, packing and delivery.
- Asda says it has contacted everyone named on the government’s list to offer them free, recurring delivery slots. It has introduced a shopping card for volunteers who are shopping for those who can’t leave the house. It can be topped up in a similar way to an e-gift card and sent to the volunteer, or left in a safe space for them to collect. This means that vulnerable people don’t have to hand over cash to volunteers and there’s no need for an exchange of bank details. It is also reported to be launching a food box, expected at the end of this week (week commencing 11 May), containing 32 different products including cereals, rice and pasta, bread, tinned fruit and vegetables. It will be priced at £30 and available via a new website.
- Marks & Spencer is working with Deliveroo to deliver groceries from around 120 franchises in BP fuel stations. It also has a range of food boxes for home delivery, including store cupboard goods, vegetable and fruit boxes, and a £45 meat box
- Morrisons has opened a helpline for vulnerable customers who are still struggling to get hold of items. Orders can be placed by calling 0345 611 6111. It has also teamed up with Deliveroo to deliver a selection of essentials via the delivery app in some areas. Morrisons has allocated a ‘Community Champion’ in each of its stores who will be tasked with identifying people in the community who may still need support. Morrisons will post information through the doors of those identified.
- Sainsbury’s is contacting those in England, Scotland and Wales who have been identified as extremely vulnerable and, for England, registered as needing help via gov.uk. Call 0800 328 1700 for help.
- Tesco says it has matched details from the government list of vulnerable people in England with 75,000 existing customers and contacted them to offer deliveries
Free food boxes
These are being organised by the government in partnership with the food industry. The free boxes are being delivered weekly and are said to contain similar food items , including pasta and tinned goods, across the country.
To access this service you must register for help at gov.uk
Wiltshire Farm Foods are able to deliver meals to your home. - 0800 046 5614
Grace Dieu Meals are able to deliver hot meals to your home 07734 010235
Stonehurst Farm - Food and veg boxes delivered within the Charwood area
The current government guidance has asked for us to stay at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. We know that for some women, men and children home is not a safe or comfortable place and the new measures could increase the risk of experiencing abuse.
If you are being abused, are concerned about family, friends or neighbours, or are worried you may commit domestic abuse please seek help. There are a number of organisations that are able to offer you support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here for links to support services
It is important to look after yourself while you are shielding.Your physical health will have a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. There are lots of ways you can get exercise whilst you are in your home. The links below will offer you some video workouts and exercises that can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Home workout videos
Strength and Resistance
Pilates and Yoga
Other fitness plans e.g. Gym free workouts
You can also subscribe to the Active Leicester newsletter which will share weekly exercises that you can do to stay fit.
It is also important to keep a good routine and make sure you are getting a good nights sleep. Some tips to get to sleep and sleep better:
- Keep regular sleep hours
- Confront sleeplessness
- Ceate a restful enviromnet
- Write down your worries
- Move more, sleep better
- Put down the pick me ups (such as alcohol and caffeine)
The every mind matters website has more information that can help you sleep better.