By now those who are vulnerable and considered at risk should have been contacted to self-isolate by NHS England or by local NHS Community Specialist teams.
Guidance has been issued by the government on how we can shield and protect people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable (click here to read the full guidance). If you think you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or have received a letter from NHS England you are strongly advised to shield yourself, to reduce the chance of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance is aimed at people living in their own home, with or without additional support.
Gloucestershire’s Community Help Hub (poster below
Gloucestershire’s councils and partners have created a community help hub to connect local people who need help, with others who can provide the support they need. https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/ If you have not yet been contacted and are self-isolating please could we ask you to register on the Community Help Hub and we will be able to organise support for you whilst you are at home
As further measures are put in place to delay the spread of Covid-19, local people are already arranging help in their area for those who need it, but not everyone has existing connections.
In response, the councils across the county have come together with the police and health partners to create the hub to connect local people who need help, with individuals, groups and businesses who can provide the support they need.
The hub includes four forms:
- ‘I can offer help’ – for those who are able to support neighbours with tasks such as picking up prescriptions, shopping, dog walking and more
- ‘I need help’ – can be used by individuals to ask for support
- ‘My neighbour needs help’ – may be used by people to request help on behalf of a neighbour, relative or friend who cannot access the internet themselves
- ‘My business can help’ – will allow local businesses who may have skills and resources others could benefit from, to offer their help.
Mental Health, Autism & Mental Wellbeing
The Independent Trust continues to support individuals during this worrying time, with staff members providing over the phone support to individuals.
Community Wellbeing Service is a free and confidential service for anyone over the age of 16. The aim of the service is to connect you to local services, organisations and groups that can help you to improve your general wellbeing and meet your wider social needs.
Community Wellbeing Agents can help you with:
•Mental health and wellbeing
•Long term health conditions
•General health and fitness
•Social isolation Housing and environment
•Debt and finance
Community Autism Support and Advice (CASA) & Community Advice, Links and Mental Health Support Service (CALMHS)
•A countywide service for all Gloucestershire residents who are registered with a Gloucestershire G.P. or funded by NHS Gloucestershire/County Council
•The service is for those with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition
•Adults aged 18 and over
•Young people aged 17 and over to support transition to adult services
•The service is offered to those whose needs cannot be met by mainstream services or other specialist services alone
•Information, advice and guidance
•A wide range of interventions and support
•We will assist you to live a life where you have a choice and are included in your local community
•Support you to reach your potential
•Signpost to other appropriate services
•Support you to identify areas of interest and help you to get involved
•You can access 1:1 work with a member of the team
•You can access Peer support where you meet with others with similar interests
•Access to web based information
Support for Carers
We understand that this is a worrying time for carers and, as such, are doing all we can to support carers through this situation.
Gloucestershire Carers Hub remains open, with most of their communication channels operating as normal, though for the safety of carers and staff, they are no longer providing face to face services. They are still available to offer support to carers including information, advice and guidance over the phone and through their website, email and social media. Please do keep checking their website and social media for up to date information. Their opening hours are: 9am to 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8am-8pm Tuesday and Thursday; but we will keep this under review and amend as appropriate.
At times like this contingency planning is at the forefront of our mind. Therefore, if you would like to talk about what might happen if you or your cared for becomes ill, please do phone. Whilst they may not be able to process registrations for the Carers Emergency Scheme as quickly as normal, they will continue to start the registration process for any carer who wishes to do so. They request that carers are mindful that the registration processes may take longer than usually expected. It is really helpful to talk through emergency planning, even if you do not formally wish to register with the Carers Emergency Scheme. Information regarding the local Carers Emergency Scheme is available
They recognise that this is an increasingly isolating time for carers and want to assure carers in Gloucestershire that they are here if you want to talk to someone. They are also providing outreach calls to known carers, to offer emotional support, information, advice and guidance, as well as a conversation about contingency plans. Carers UK also have online forums that may be of interest to carers:
Of further interest may be the Jointly App which is supported by Carers UK. The app is available free of charge to all carers registered with the Gloucestershire Carers Hub. The app is there to support you with your caring role, and you can allow multiple individuals to log in and update information. The app can act as a live record of what is happening with the person you care for including appointments, updating medical details and medication.
If you are a carer, please get in touch. If you know someone who is a carer, please look out for them at this time:
Phone 0300 111 9000
Contact Gloucestershire Young Carers
http://www.glosyoungcarers.org.uk 01452 733060
Age UK Gloucestershire have set up a page on where elderly residents who are self isolating can seek support including guidance for older people recently discharged from hospital plus a phone line for befriending.
You or your organisation can volunteer to help local residents in need by signing up via the Community Help Hub https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/gloucestershires-community-help-hub/
Here is where you can sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder.
Offering opportunities for paid employment in health and social care. Proud to Care are offering fast track recruitment solutions in order to mobilise support staff to where they are required.
Additional Useful Websites & Information
10 tips to help if you are worried about Coronavirus, provided by Every Mind Matters.
Adult Social Care advice, guidance and support including links to Your Circle and raising an enquiry to the Adult Helpdesk.
Gloucestershire Community Foundation website which includes lots of useful links for community organisations and individuals including links to the Coronavirus Emergency Appeal (to donate or apply) which is available to people, charities & community groups affected.
Updates from Gloucestershire Deaf Association on the services they are able to continue to offer throughout the pandemic.
Updates from Gloucestershire Carers Hub on the services they are able to continue to offer throughout the pandemic.
Easy Read / Accessible Information
‘Beating the Virus’ an illustrated story provided by Beyond Words – an organisation specialising in empowering people through pictures (attached).
‘The Hand Washing Rap’ made with The Purple All Stars.
Resources available from Public Health England.
We acknowledge that this is an increasingly isolating time for individuals and want to assure you in Gloucestershire that we are here if you want to talk to someone. The below links are additional support tools offering emotional support, information and advice and guidance to help support during these difficult times.
NHS 111 online. If you do not have internet access please dial 111.
GCC Adult Helpdesk: 01452 426868
For advice, support and guidance about Adult Social Care, including should you wish to raise a Safeguarding alert.