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Patient support: Where to direct people in different risk groups

NHS England advice for primary care on wider support for patients 

Patients who need support whilst staying at home

In NHS England's daily bulletin to primary care on 13 April, it said -

We know many patients are asking for wider help and support during this time – whether they are in the shielding group or not. Here are some places you can refer them to:

Highest clinical risk group only (1.5m)

• All patients at highest clinical risk who are shielding are asked to register to the Government Support website. This service provides access to food and medications whilst at home if needed.

• To access this, patients must be flagged as highest clinical risk by the central process, their GP or a hospital specialist.

• Please note, there may be a short delay between the flag being applied and support arriving.

Anyone in need (including those in the highest clinical risk group)

  • NHS Volunteer Responders: you can submit a live referral for an individual that needs support or an NHS service that requires volunteers providing they meet the referring criteria at https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSreferral or on 0808 196 3382.
  • Volunteers can provide: (1) Check in and chat support – short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation (note, this is not mental health advice); (2) Community support – collection of shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home; (3) Patient Transport – transport to take patients home who are medically fit for discharge.
  • Health at home – is a webpage that gives them an overview of NHS services that are available, such as how to order repeat prescriptions online and get them delivered (https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSreferral).
  • Public Health England have provided some guidance on looking after mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Local councils are working with voluntary sector organisations and local communities to support residents in the response to COVID-19. You can signpost them to https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council, where they can locate their council and associated website where they can find all this information
  • The government has provided advice on employment and financial support on their website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Source: NHS England's daily email primary care bulletin [sent on 13 April]

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