Thousands of local people who have been identified by the NHS as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus will receive a letter from Swindon Borough Council over the coming days.
The letter, which is being sent out to around 8,000 residents, sets out the local support available to vulnerable residents who do not have any support network.
New government guidance says people who are at the highest risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 should stay at home as much as possible and only leave their homes to exercise outdoors or to attend health appointments.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable were also advised in a letter from the Government to refrain from going to shops or pharmacies due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases across the country.
In order to help those affected, the Council has offered to assist anyone who does not have a support network so they can continue to get their food and medication.
This includes providing advice on how to join priority shopping schemes and how to sign up to the NHS Responder scheme for shopping and medication collection. For those who do not have family and friends to help them, the council will use local volunteers do people’s shopping and deliver it to their doors.
Council staff will also be on hand to signpost people to the most appropriate local support for wellbeing advice about staying well and connected during this time.
The letter offers advice on staying active and highlights the support available from Citizens Advice Swindon, which offers all Swindon residents free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on a range of topics.
A range of support measures are also available on the Council’s webpage at www.swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus and vulnerable residents can find information on how to access essential food, household supplies and prescriptions by visiting www.swindon.gov.uk/helpandsupport
Anyone who is in urgent need of food and essentials and does not have the funds to pay or anyone to support them, can apply to the Council’s Emergency Assistance Fund online at www.swindon.gov.uk/emergencyhelp or by calling 01793 445500. Each application is considered on its own merits.
Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “This is an unbelievably difficult time for those people who have underlying health conditions and are being asked by the Government to take extra precautions to protect them from this terrible virus.
“But I want to assure them that help is at hand and we will do everything we can to support them should they need it.
“It is our duty to support the most vulnerable people in our communities and I am incredibly proud of the work of our staff, and our partners in the health and voluntary sectors, who are continuing to go the extra mile during this pandemic.”