We are facing many inquiries from patients regarding them receiving a shielding letter or asking for a medical note if they are socially distancing for their employer during the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak.
With regards to shielding patients these are mainly being contacted centrally from NHS England or by secondary care. The full parameters have yet to be confirmed to clarify the range of conditions. We do not yet have a copy of the list of these patients. please await your letter which should arrive in due course.
Social distancing guidelines related to health conditions are clearly outlined on the gov.uk website. We do not provide sick notes or letters for this as this needs to be discussed between yourself and your employer to work with you to find the safest option for you.
Sick notes for isolation for 2 weeks if you or the household have Covid-19 symptoms are available from 111.nhs.uk/isolation-note
Guidance on social distancing: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people
Guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons
NHS advice for those at high risk: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/advice-for-people-at-high-risk
Information from Acas: www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Guidance on staying at home: www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others#going-to-work
Support is available for those shielding or socially isolating who need help with prescriptions and shopping etc:
How can you get assistance with foods and medicines if you are shielding?
Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. Please discuss your daily needs during this period of staying at home with carers, family, friends, neighbours or local community groups to see how they can support you.
Please visit gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerableto register for the support that you need. This includes help with food, shopping deliveries and additional care you might need.
The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. 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.
You may also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.
If you receive support from health and social care organisations, for example, if you have care provided for you through the local authority or health care system, this will continue as normal. Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you are protected. The advice for formal carers is included in the home care provision.
Age UK Gloucestershire has had to reconfigure the way it delivers support to Gloucestershire’s older people. It is currently providing support in three ways (further information at: www.ageuk.org.uk/gloucestershire):
- Supporting Older People to resolve specific issues:
The Help Team is available Monday – Friday, 09:00 – 16:00 to help older people resolve specific problems. The team has up to date information about local resources and support. The Out of Hospital Team continues to support older people recently discharged from hospital who need guidance to stay well at home through in depth welfare calls.
- Supporting Older People to stay connected:
Recognising that social isolation and the associated wellbeing issues are a real and serious issue for older people, new Freephone telephone number for people who are alone and who want to have a friendly conversation with a staff member or volunteer has been set up. Call 0800 2980579, Monday – Friday, 09:00 – 16:00.
- Support for Communities who want to help:
- Signposting individuals to existing local groups, and central hub resources
- Support and advice for local community groups to support older people safely and effectively