As the new lockdown comes into effect in England, Thanet District Council has mobilised its Community Support Hub and will be working with partner agencies to make direct contact with individuals registered as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.
Almost 7,000 Thanet residents currently fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group, previously described as shielding, and are those people being strongly urged by the Government to take extra precautions and only go out for exercise or to attend medical appointments.
Everyone on the list will be proactively contacted by text message, email, telephone or in person. Messages will include details of the council’s dedicated COVID-19 telephone line, a link to key information as well as how to request further assistance if needed. Recipients will also be reminded that if they already have priority booking with their local supermarket, it remains in place. The message will also confirm that existing medical appointments should be attended.
Over the course of the week, calls will also be made to everyone on the clinically extremely vulnerable list who only have a landline, or do not have internet access. The team will also make a very small number of COVID-19 secure doorstep calls as required. These calls and visits will ensure that these residents have information on food banks, if needed. They will also provide guidance on how to book a priority supermarket delivery slot if they haven’t previously registered for them. Officers will also be able to refer people on to NHS volunteers for prescription collections deliveries from their local pharmacy haven’t already been arranged, as well as answer any concerns that individuals raise.
The Government will be sending letters out later this week to all those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, providing them with further detail on the updated guidance and on how to access the support available.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet District Council said:
“Supporting the most vulnerable people in Thanet continues to be a key priority for us all. Since the last national lockdown, our community hub has continued to operate. From today we are raising the profile of the hub again and will begin to contact clinically extremely vulnerable residents to assess their needs and assist in facilitating access to food and support.
“We recognise that these are uncertain times for so many people, those with health issues, or a business that must close or a job that has once more been furloughed. There is support available and we will be doing all we can to ensure that people know about it and can access it. Now is a time to be kind, to check in on each other, to share concerns and to ask for help if needed.”
The dedicated COVID-19 Community Helpline which was set up at the start of the first COVID-19 lockdown helped thousands of Thanet residents in need. The service is still available and offers advice and information for people who need additional support during lockdown. The number is 01843 577 330 and the helpline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Thanet District Council is also part of the Kent Resilience Forum, a county-wide multi-agency group working collaboratively to ensure a coherent and comprehensive approach to dealing with this situation.