This guidance is for everyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV). If you are in this group, you will have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. If you have not yet received a letter but you received a letter in November advising you that you were identified as CEV you should assume that this remains the case for the advice for National Lockdown – Stay at Home.
This guidance replaces any previous guidance on shielding.
Full guidance can be found online at gov.uk/coronavirus for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals only. Others living in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to follow this guidance.
Doctors have been reviewing all children and young people who were initially identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to confirm whether they are still thought to be at highest risk.
If you receive a letter from the Department of Health & Social Care and you have not yet heard from your child’s hospital doctor or GP to discuss this, please contact whoever usually provides care for your child to check whether they should still be considered clinically extremely vulnerable.
If you have already discussed this with your child’s doctors and they have confirmed your child is still considered highest risk, your child should follow the advice as set out in this letter.
It is really important to look after your mental health. The ‘Every Mind Matters’ website offers advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.
You can visit it at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.
You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
Avoid busy areas to minimise the chance of coming into close contact with others. You may want to maintain social distancing within your household if practical.
While we are in national lockdown, clinically extremely vulnerable people should not go to the workplace.
While we are in national lockdown, colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers only.
All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.
Children who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school.
While we are in national lockdown you should stay at home as much as possible and you are advised not to travel unless it is essential.
If you have to travel:
- Walk or cycle if you can.
- Try to minimise the number of people you come into close contact with.
- Travel by car as this is likely to mean fewer social contacts than travelling by public transport.
- Avoid sharing a car with people outside of your immediate household or support bubble.
- You are advised not to go to the shops.
- You can register for a priority food delivery slot register
- Use online shopping if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping for you (friends and family, or NHS Volunteer Responders)
- You are also advised to ask people in your household, your support bubble or NHS Responders to collect food and medicines for you
- More information about food and food deliveries is available on the Here2Help Help with food page
- You are strongly advised not to go to a pharmacy because the risk of exposure to the virus is high.
- In the first instance, you should ask if any friends, family or volunteers can collect medicines for you.
- If friends and family are not able to collect your medicines for you, and you and/or the pharmacy are unable to arrange a volunteer, then you will be eligible for free medicines delivery. Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge.
- Hospital and doctors’ appointments should be attended.
- Carers who support you will continue to visit.
- Your Local Authority can assist in care and support - 0121 704 8704.
- You can also quickly and easily access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or having an online appointment with your healthcare professional. To find out more visit: www.nhs.uk/health-at-home or download the NHS App. You should also continue to receive support from social care if you require it.
- Please make sure your GP has your most up to date contact details, including your home address and, if possible, a personal email address, so that we can contact you quickly in the event that guidance changes in the future.
- Please visit www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support to get more information on what government support is available to everyone during the pandemic.
- NHS Volunteer Responders are also available to help with things like collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies and with transport to medical appointments. They can also provide a regular, friendly phone call which can be provided by different volunteers each time or by someone who was previously advised to shield and will stay in contact for several weeks. More information is available at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk or you can call 0808 196 3646 between 8.00am and 8.00pm
During the autumn and winter months everyone is advised to take a supplement of vitamin D every day to support general health and in particular for bone and muscle health. Many of us have been indoors more than usual this year and so might not have been making enough vitamin D from sunlight.
You can find general advice on vitamin D here: www.nhs.uk/vitamin-d This advice is particularly important for people who have been shielding this year due to COVID-19, or who are living in care homes, because they are most likely to have been indoors over the spring and summer and so may not have been able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight.