Back to top

Health blog: Shielding, support and staying safe

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health

 

Dear residents,

I hope you are all keeping well.

As yet, we do not know when the current national restrictions will end as they remain in place to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Under these restrictions, the Department of Health and Social Care also advised those residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable to return to ‘shielding’.

Those who are shielding are advised to:

  • Stay at home as much as possible – avoid going to shops or pharmacies
  • Work from home if you can. If you are not able to work from home you are advised not to go into work
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable children are advised not to go to school or college

I understand that this advice will apply until 21 February 2021 and - if the advice continues beyond that date - the Department of Health and Social Care will write to you with further information.

I have recently written to Wirral residents who are shielding about what is available locally to help them to keep safe and well at this difficult time.

If you are shielding, I recommend that you plan the support you may need, so that you can follow the advice to stay at home as much as possible. Keep in touch with friends and family via phone or video calls and get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered to you. Those shielding will be in a priority group for receiving the vaccine and should wait to be contacted by the NHS.

If you do need additional support, there are still lots of people who can offer help with essentials, or a listening ear:

  • NHS Volunteer Responders could help you to access food, medicines or essentials. You can register for this service by calling 0808 196 3646. They can also help with other practical, emotional and social support via your GP surgery. 
  • The National Shielding Support Service can be accessed online to register for a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you don’t already have access to one) and/or to register support needs if shielding is re-introduced in the future: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support .
  • Wirral Infobank is a directory of local care and support services, community resources, activities and information. Visit www.wirralinfobank.co.uk for help with managing your money, accessing social supermarkets or welfare support, religious services, and much more. 

And please remember, even though we are in a lockdown, the NHS is open. GP practices remain open and you should continue attending your routine appointments and using NHS services for the care and treatment you need.  

I hope that some of this information is helpful but please do contact Wirral Council’s Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 if you need to discuss any aspect of your support. 

Stay safe,

Julie.

 

Other local support organisations:

  • Wirral Coronavirus Helpline 

If you are in urgent need of food, medication, or you have another welfare difficulty, you can contact the Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050 between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday (out of hours support is also available on this number).  

You can also email covid19enquiries@wirral.gov.uk or apply online at www.wirral.gov.uk/welfaresupport. All applications for help with food or financial support are assessed. 

 

  • Wirral InfoBank 

The Wirral InfoBank is a directory of local care and support services, community resources, activities and information. Visit www.wirralinfobank.co.uk for help with managing your money, accessing social supermarkets or welfare support, religious services, and much more. 

 

  • Healthwatch Wirral – your voice on local health and social care services 

Visit www.healthwatchwirral.co.uk for a wide range of useful information, including specialist advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people: www.healthwatchwirral.co.uk/moving-forward-from-shielding/. If you prefer, you can call the team on 0151 230 8957. 

 

  • Support for your carers 

WIRED carers support is here to help take care of those who care for you. You can call them on 0151 670 0777. 

For young carers under the age of 18, Barnardos Action With Young Carers Wirral can offer understanding and advice. You can call them on 0151 650 5488. 

  • Talking Together Wirral 

Offers free, confidential talking therapies to help with common issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, family problems and trauma. Just call 0151 649 1859 or visit www.insighthealthcare.org/our-services/talking-therapies/find-a-service/wirral/ .

 

  • Wirral Mental Health Helpline 

If you need urgent mental health support, please call 0800 145 6485. The Freephone helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

 

  • Wirral Mencap 

Supporting local people with a learning disability, as well as their families and carers: www.mencapwirral.org.uk.

 

  • Wirral Change and Wirral Multicultural Organisation 

Support for people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.  

  • Wirral Change – 0151 647 8177 
  • Wirral Multicultural Organisation – 0151 792 5116 

 

  • Age UK Wirral 

Offering support with shopping, prescription collection, dog walking, wellbeing and befriending calls, information and advice, welfare benefits, home from hospital support, digital social and exercise groups and activities, digital technology loan scheme and help to get people online safely. Call 0151 482 3456 (seven days per week). Dementia Carer Support Helpline & Admiral Nurses – 0151 488 7804 (seven days per week). 

 

  • Ask Us Wirral 

Help with a wide range of issues relating to benefits, debt, universal credit, employment, housing, relationship breakdown, community and social care, immigration. Call 0300 33 00 111. 

 

  • Merseyside Society for Deaf People 

Services to support deaf, deaf blind, and hard of hearing people. Call 0151 228 0888.