Essex Wellbeing Service
21 December 2020
1. Background and how you can get involved
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid (CEV) because they have other health conditions are being advised to shield as Essex has moved to Tier 4 from 20 December 2020.
The latest advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable is officially in place for the next two weeks but is expected to remain for at least the next four weeks.
Letters are being sent out by central government to the CEV, as well as texts and emails by ECC, supported by visits from local districts, where possible.
The advice to people who are CEV who live in areas of Essex under Tier 4 restrictions is to shield, ensuring access to food and essentials, and ensuring their basic support needs are met.
The National Shielding Service has been reactivated, providing support with shopping or local support. At a local level, if you are CEV and have no support, the Essex Wellbeing Service is here for you and can support you with accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, practical or emotional support and befriending support via a phone buddy. The number is 0300 303 9988.
Government guidance to CEV people is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#cev
As well as following the new national restrictions everyone in England must follow, the advice to CEV people, in summary, is:
- stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments.
- try to keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. Whenever you go out, continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
- try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.
- strongly advised to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you should not attend work for this period of restrictions. People who cannot work as a result may be eligible for the furlough scheme, statutory sick pay, Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
- avoid all non-essential travel
- not to go to the shops or pharmacy. Shop online if you can, or ask others to collect and deliver shopping and medication for you
Situation in Essex
Essex has at least 62,400 people identified as CEV. Families should seek advice from their GP or specialist clinician, to understand whether their child/ren should be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) is a single point of access to the practical, emotional and specialist support they need, irrespective of their circumstances. Practical support on offer ranges from help accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, volunteers collecting medicines and befriending support via a phone buddy.
Residents can access the Essex Wellbeing Service by calling 0300 303 9988 or visiting www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk It is open until 5pm on Christmas Eve and for emergency support only between 10am-12pm on Christmas Day and 10am-1pm on 26, 27 and 28 December. Normal service resumes between 29-31 December. EWS will be closed on New Year’s Day with a normal service resuming again on Saturday 2 January.
Additional support available
Adults and families who are struggling to pay their bills and for essential household items during the coronavirus pandemic can apply to The Essex Essential Living Fund.
The Fund can help to pay for:
- fuel connection charges
- daily living expenses such as food and toiletries
You must live in Essex and apply through Southend Borough Council https://www.southend.gov.uk/extra-financial-help/essential-living-fund
For more information on funding that Essex County Council has committed to support the most vulnerable in our communities, visit https://www.essex.gov.uk/news/extra-support-for-the-most-vulnerable-this-winter
How you can get involved
We want to ensure that every CEV resident gets the support they need. We also want to ensure that people in their support bubble, family, friends and neighbours are aware of what they can do to help.
We have created some Essex Wellbeing Service promotional assets that can be used by you on your channels.
Partners involved in delivering the support and health or other services that CEV residents are in contact with may wish to adapt the messages to promote details of the local services provided.
Please support this initiative by promoting support available on your website, in newsletters and on social media.
You can use the content of the following media release to form your communications.
Social media. Please follow the Essex County Council social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In.
Please retweet and share our posts about the CEV support and do your own. We have supplied some sample social media posts for you to use and/or adapt.
Monitoring response. So that we can evaluate the campaign it would be helpful if you’re able to monitor responses to your communications, and referrals to your service for CEV residents and share those metrics with us, when asked.
ECC media release
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people in Tier four areas of Essex advised to shield
Essex residents who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and living under Tier 4 restrictions, are once again being advised by the Government to shield in order to protect themselves from catching Covid-19.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable will receive a letter from the Government, outlining the new guidance, including to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments, and not to attend work, even if they are unable to work from home.
The National Shielding Service has been reactivated and at a local level, the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) can provide vulnerable Essex residents with a single point of access to the practical, emotional and specialist support they need. Practical support on offer ranges from help accessing priority supermarket shopping slots, volunteers collecting medicines and befriending support via a phone buddy.
Residents can access the Essex Wellbeing Service (EWS) by calling 0300 303 9988 or visiting www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk. The EWS is available to all Essex residents, regardless of which Tier they live in and will be available for emergency support only between 25-28 December.
The Government has also issued further guidance for vulnerable residents living in Tier 2 areas. In Essex, this currently applies to Uttlesford, Tendring and Colchester.
Although not required to shield, it is important for clinically extremely vulnerable residents living in Tier 2 areas to continue to take precautions, including keeping the number of different people they meet with consistently low.
Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “The latest Government announcement has presented difficulties for lots of people and we do not underestimate the impact the new restrictions will have on thousands of Essex residents, particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
“I want to reassure anyone who is worried that you will have the support you need while you are shielding.
“Anyone who doesn’t have an existing support network, please reach out – there is help available locally and there is no need for anyone to feel that they are suffering alone at this time.”
Help is also available through the Essential Living Fund. Adults and families who are struggling to pay their bills and for essential household items during the Covid-19 pandemic, and live in Essex, can apply to The Essex Essential Living Fund by through Southend Borough Council at www.southend.gov.uk/extra-financial-help/essential-living-fund
This shielding guidance is officially in place for the next two weeks, but could potentially remain in place for up to four weeks.
Notes to editors
- More advice on who should be shielding can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/advice-for-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-in-new-tier-4-areas
- The Essential Living Fund is available to Essex residents who can apply via Southend Borough Council: https://www.southend.gov.uk/extra-financial-help/essential-living-fund
- Essex Wellbeing Service is available on 0300 303 9988 or www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk It is open until 5pm on Christmas Eve and for emergency support only between 10am-12pm on Christmas Day and 10am-1pm on 26, 27 and 28 December. Normal service resumes between 29-31 December. The EWS will be closed on New Year’s Day with a normal service resuming again on Saturday 2 January.
- Support is also available nationally: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support
3. Social media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Direct to: https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/
Generic posts – amend to suit platform
If you’re in Tier 4, clinically extremely vulnerable and need to shield, the Essex Wellbeing Service can help. For help with supermarket shopping slots to befriending support via a phone buddy, contact the Essex Wellbeing Service 0300 303 9988 or visit https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/
Vulnerable people shielding at home may need extra support to stay safe and well. If friends and family can’t help, contact the Essex Wellbeing Service or the Community Hub in your district.
You can also visit https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/
We want to remind vulnerable people in our communities that they can get practical, emotional and specialist support from the Essex Wellbeing Service.
If you or someone you know needs support, you can get in touch here https://www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk/