Information and support available for residents who have now been advised to shield

INFORMATION and support is available for residents in East Sussex who have recently been advised to shield because they have now been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to coronavirus. 

Residents who have been added to the CEV group recently will receive a letter or an email from the government explaining what this means.  East Sussex County Council will also be getting in touch with these residents via text message, email or letter to let them know about the information and support on offer locally.

Residents who have been newly advised to shield can access the existing support on offer to CEV people if they need to, including priority supermarket delivery slots and free medicines delivery from pharmacies.

If CEV residents need help getting food, medicine and other essentials while they are shielding, they are encouraged to ask trusted family members, friends or neighbours in the first instance.  

Support is available locally for those who don’t have anyone else they can ask for help. NHS Volunteer Responders are available to deliver purchased prescriptions, essential items and food and can be contacted by calling 0808 196 3646.

The council’s Health and Social Care Connect service (HSCC) offers advice and help to access food, medicines and essentials. They can also provide information in any other language or in an accessible format. HSCC be contacted on 0345 60 80 191 or via HSCC@eastsussex.gov.uk from 8am to 8pm 7 days a week including bank holidays.

There are also five Community Hubs in East Sussex, offering support to people affected by the pandemic who have no one else to turn to. The hubs can connect people to local community groups and services to help them cope with the impact of coronavirus.

Residents who are struggling financially or worried about debt can get free, confidential support and advice through the East Sussex welfare benefits helpline by calling 0333 344 0681 or via email at benefitseastsussex@harcuk.com. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Support for mental health issues is also available across the county. The Sussex Mental Healthline offers mental health care and advice 24 hours, 7 days a week. The helpline can be contacted by calling 0800 0309 500.

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “Many of our vulnerable residents continue to be supported by family, friends, carers or neighbours, but for those who need more support, help is available. 

“If you have recently been told you are considered clinically extremely vulnerable and you need extra advice or support please contact the Health and Social Care Connect team or one of our community hubs. No one should feel they have to cope on their own at this difficult time.” 

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to shield until 31 March 2021 and not to attend work, school, college or university, not to travel or go to the shops or a pharmacy, and to limit the time spent outside the home. CEV residents can go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it’s essential.

For more information on the support available to clinically extremely vulnerable people in East Sussex, including a downloadable ‘extra support’ leaflet, visit eastsussex.gov.uk/cev 

National guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19