Coronavirus crisis: Rutland County Council prepares for 'shielding' of vulnerable

  Posted: 23.03.20 at 19:09 by The Editor

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Rutland County Council is putting plans in place to support new government guidance around “shielding” for people who are at significantly higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NHS is currently in the process of writing to anyone who is considered to be ‘extremely vulnerable’ because they have a serious underlying health condition.

Shielding is the practice being recommended to protect these extremely vulnerable people from COVID-19. Anyone who receives a letter through the post is strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks.

Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Shielding differs from the social distancing guidance that we are all being asked to follow because it advises people with a serious underlying health condition to remain at home, not to leave and to avoid all contact with other people for a considerable period of time.

“The implications for these extremely vulnerable people are clear; while some will have friends, family or neighbours who may be able to help, there will be others who need to have food, medicines and other supplies provided to them until they can leave home again.

"We are already putting plans in place with businesses and other local partners that will allow us to provide direct support to anyone who is being shielded and needs our help."

For more information about the government’s shielding guidance, including full details of who is considered to be ‘extremely vulnerable’, please see: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Rutland County Council is continuing to work with local NHS and Primary Care services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rutland’s four GP practices have made significant changes to the way they work in order to reduce the infection risk to patients.

People who are worried they may have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature or continuous cough), are asked not to go to their local GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, they should self-isolate and visit: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19 if you need a fit note for their employer.

No patients should visit their local GP unless they have already spoken to the surgery. For a consultation with a GP or other healthcare professional, this will be done by telephone or video after patients have arranged an appointment through their GP’s website or over the phone.

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