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Glasgow City Council

Shielding - Frequently Asked Questions

Covid-19 - Shielding - Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire

1. Why are these areas going into lockdown?

We are placing some restrictions on the areas of:

  • Glasgow City

  • East Renfrewshire

  • West Dunbartonshire

This is due to an increase in numbers of people testing positive with COVID-19 in these areas.

2. Should I go back into shielding?

We are not advising people to start shielding again. It is important to strictly follow guidance on physical distancing and regular handwashing. You may want to also consider the number of people you are in contact with.

You will be contacted by Test and Protect if you have been in contact with anyone who tests positive. You should follow the instructions and start to self-isolate.

3. Why am I not being advised to shield?

We know this might be a particularly anxious time if you are on the shielding list. The clinical advice is still that you do not need to shield. We are keeping the situation under constant review and will not hesitate to change our advice if we need to.

4. What about schools?

We want schools to be able to stay open. Restricting the hospitality sector and taking other measures will allow this to happen. It is vital that everyone follows these measures to ensure that schools can remain open.

We have not changed our advice for those on the shielding list. This includes children and young people. This means that children who are on the shielding list can still attend school - unless their clinician has advised them otherwise. Children living with someone else on the shielding list can also continue to go to school.

As with all our shielding advice, we will keep this under review.

5. Is it still safe for me to go back to work?

We are basing our guidance on clinical advice and evidence. We do not currently need to change our advice to those who have been shielding on going back to work.

We continue to urge all employers to support staff to work from home wherever possible. We ask employers to take particular account of those who were shielding.

6. I'm concerned about these cases, what should I do?

Remember to strictly follow the FACTS advice:

  • Face coverings - wear a face covering in shops and on public transport

  • Avoid crowded places

  • Clean your hands regularly

  • Two metre distance - maintain physical distancing from people outwith your household

  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

To help keep yourself safe, you can visit our Shielding web pages for more information at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding/

7. What are the restrictions?

From midnight Tuesday 1 September, there are local restrictions in place in Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire or West Dunbartonshire. This is to prevent the further spread of the virus.

  • Do not meet indoors at home with people outwith your household. You can continue to meet with other people outdoors, including in gardens and in hospitality settings. You can continue to meet indoors with people from your extended household.

  • If anyone living in these areas is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they and all those in their household group should self-isolate for 14 days.

  • Indoor visits to hospitals and care homes will be limited to essential visits only. This will protect the most vulnerable. You can still visit care homes outdoors in groups of three people from a maximum of two households.

  • Schools and nurseries will remain open. Plans for the opening of colleges and universities remain in place.

Further guidance on local restrictions: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-measures/

8. What happens next?

These restrictions are in place for at least two weeks. We will continue to monitor the situation. Once cases have gone down, we will let you know. The First Minister will make a statement to say that the restrictions have been lifted. You will also receive an alert via the SMS Shielding Service if you are signed up to this service.

If the cases continue to rise, we will not hesitate to take further action if needed. We will let you know as soon as possible if we need to make any changes to the shielding guidance. This will be available online and via the SMS Shielding Service. If we were to ask you to start shielding again, you will receive a letter.

If you have not already signed up, you can do so by texting your 10 digit CHI number to 0786 006 4525. You can find your CHI number on the shielding letter you have received.

I have tried to register with the Scottish Government SMS service but keep getting an error message, what should I do?

The SMS Shielding Service is an automated process and we have been made aware of a number of problems with registering. There are a few reasons why you might be getting an error message;

  1. You have submitted an incorrect CHI number. Please check the number against the CHI number on the top of your letter from the Scottish Government.

  2. You have included additional information. Only text your 10 digit CHI number. If you include any other words or information, or a space at the end then you will receive an error message. Try again, ensuring that there are only 10 digits.

  3. You don't have enough credit in your phone to send a text. Texts are charged at the standard network rate.

  4. We have been advised that a number of eligible patients are unable to register. This appears to be an issue for certain mobile phone providers.

  5. If your GP or consultant advised you that you are in the Shielding Group but you haven't received a letter, you may find that there is a delay in being able to register whilst your records are updated. You cannot register until your CHI number has been added to the central database. Please keep trying over the next few days.

  6. You are not registered on the list of patients that require shielding support.

    If you are having difficulty registering using the SMS service and are eligible for the Scottish Government shielding programme, we can register on your behalf.

    You can email us on ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk or call us on 0141 276 1185

    How will I know if my text registration has been successful?

    You should receive a text acknowledging your registration. If you are unsure if you are registered, you can text the word 'test' using the mobile that you would have used to register. You will then get an automated response that advises whether you are registered for the SMS service and if you have signed up for any particular services.

    I have a prescription ready at the Pharmacy but I have nobody to pick this up, what do I do?

    If your pharmacy does not have a delivery service, or if their delivery lists are currently full, we can provide support to pick up prescriptions when you and your family are shielding.  Where the prescription has been filled by the Pharmacy and is ready to collect we can provide a contact free delivery to your door.  You are required to provide your consent for us to act on your behalf and you will be specifically asked to do so when you request the service.

    A driver will phone you to advise that they are on their way with a delivery.  On arrival they will place your medication on the doorstep, ring the bell or knock the door and step away.  If there is no answer, the driver will ring/knock again and wait.  If there is still no response, the medication will be retrieved and secured safely and redelivery arranged.

    Please contact the Shielding Response Team by email (ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk) or on 0141 276 1185 if you require support with this. 

    I provide care for my parents. Is it still okay to do that?

    You should only provide care that is essential. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before and after any contact with any shielded person.

    You should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Do not use your hands. Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands.

    Do not visit or provide care if you are unwell and try to make alternative care arrangements. If you need support for essential care you should contact the Shielding Response Team who can refer you for assistance.

    I am a shielded person but I have a hospital appointment to attend, do I still go?

    Hospitals are currently reviewing their clinics and appointments. It is possible that this might be postponed or cancelled. You will be contacted directly by phone or letter if there are any changes to your care or appointments. If you do not hear anything then you should assume that your appointment will go ahead.

    I can't work now that I have been advised to stay at home. How do I get a sick line?

    Your shielding letter is evidence to your employer that you cannot work outside your home and you do not need a separate fit note from your GP.

    I am worried that I cannot pay my bills now I have to stay at home and can't work. What should I do?

    If you need financial advice and support you can contact the Money Talk Team at the Citizens Advice Network. They can determine if you are entitled to any benefits and give advice on money. You can contact them on 0800 085 7145 or visit their website www.financialhealthcheck.scot

    You can also be referred to the Council's financial advice services. If you need help, please contact the Shielding Response Team on 0141 276 1185 or by emailing ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk

General Shielding Information

I got a letter telling me that I was identified as at risk and I`m on the Shielding list. What does this mean?

If you received a letter from the Scottish Government advising you that you have been included as part of the Shielding programme, it is because you have an existing medical condition that puts you at high clinical risk should you contract COVID-19. The Shielding programme aims to protect those individuals identified as at high clinical risk by supporting them to reduce all contact with others.

The Scottish Government has highlighted that it is essential for you, to self isolate to protect you from getting the virus. You should therefore;

  • Avoid contact with anyone who you live with that has symptoms of COVID-19;

  • Stay in your house;

  • Minimise all contact by not shopping, going out for leisure or travel and arrange for deliveries of food and medication to be left at your front door;

The Scottish Government has put in place a programme of support to help you do this.

The Scottish Government has announced that shielding will be paused from the 1st August as the infection levels are low enough.


I haven't received a letter from the Scottish Government regarding Shielding but think I should have, how do I get on the list?

The list of patients in need of shielding support is not anopt in process. The NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has used existing databases to determine patients identified as at high clinical risk. The definition for high clinical risk has been agreed by all four Chief Medical Officers across the United Kingdom. The full list of conditions agreed as in need of shielding support are;

1. Solid organ transplant recipients

2. People with specific cancers

a. People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
b. People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment.
c. People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
d. People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
e. People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD

4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)

5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection

6. People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

If you fall within these groups and have not received any correspondence from the Scottish Government, you are advised to contact your GP direct.

Any additions to the list require to be made through a clinician and Glasgow City Council is not involved in this process.


I haven't had a shielding letter and don't have the conditions listed, where can I get support?

We know that there are many more people who do not fall within the groups listed that will also require to self isolate - either because of a different medical condition, because they have been advised by their doctor to do so, or because they have symptoms of COVID-19. These groups will also require support

Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector and the Health & Social Care Partnership have joined forces to establish a Community Hub for Glasgow. This Hub provides information on local groups and organisations in your area that can provide support for a wide range of activities, including accessing food and picking up medication. It links you directly with a local group to discuss your particular needs.

You can contact the Community Hub on 0141 345 0543 from 9am -5pm from Monday to Friday or visit online at www.glasgowhelps.org

 

My elderly parents have been advised to shield. Is it still okay for me to visit them?

The Scottish Government has set out a clear route map for what is and isn't advisable for those that are shielding. You can find the most up to date guidance on the Scottish Government website (https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding/)

This guidance sets out that those that are shielding can form 'extended households' with any other household. This means that two households can visit each other and stay over without the need for physical distancing. You can also visit those that are shielding outwith an extended household, both indoors and outdoors, however you should maintain physical distancing and observe the recommended guidelines including hand washing and good ventilation.

 

I provide care for my parents. Is it still okay to do that?

The Scottish Government has set out a clear route map for what is and isn't advisable for those that are shielding. You can find the most up to date guidance on the dedicated space on the Scottish Government website (https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding/)


I am a shielded person but I have a hospital appointment to attend, do I still go?

Hospitals are currently reviewing their clinics and appointments. It is possible that this might be postponed or cancelled. You will be contacted directly by phone or letter if there are any changes to your care or appointments. If you do not hear anything then you should assume that your appointment will go ahead.

 

How long do I have to shield for? When can I go out again?

The initial advice was to shield for at least 12 weeks from the date you received your shielding letter. The Scottish Government have now announced that shielding will pause on the 1st August as the level of infection is low. You are advised to continue to shield until then, after which you should follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland which you can find here - https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

You can find full information on the current advice for those that are shielding and what you are able to do here.

Scottish Government SMS Service - Shielding Support

I have tried to register with the Scottish Government SMS service but keep getting an error message, what should I do?

The SMS Shielding Service is an automated process and we have been made aware of a number of problems with registering. There are a few reasons why you might be getting an error message;

a) You have submitted an incorrect CHI number. Please check the number against the CHI number on the top of your letter from the Scottish Government.

b) You have included additional information. Only text your 10 digit CHI number. If you include any other words or information, or a space at the end then you will receive an error message. Try again, ensuring that there are only 10 digits.

c) You don't have enough credit in your phone to send a text. Texts are charged at the standard network rate.

d) We have been advised that a number of eligible patients are unable to register. This appears to be an issue for certain mobile phone providers.

e) If your GP or consultant advised you that you are in the Shielding Group but you haven't received a letter, you may find that there is a delay in being able to register whilst your records are updated. You cannot register until your CHI number has been added to the central database. Please keep trying over the next few days.

f) You are not registered on the list of patients that require shielding support.

If you are having difficulty registering using the SMS service and are eligible for the Scottish Government shielding programme, we can register on your behalf.

You can email us on ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk or call us on 0141 276 1185

 

How will I know if my text registration has been successful?

You should receive a text acknowledging your registration. If you are unsure if you are registered, you can text the word 'test' using the mobile that you would have used to register. You will then get an automated response that advises whether you are registered for the SMS service and if you have signed up for any particular services.

Support to Access Food

For those residents who have been advised to shield, a range of supports have been put in place to ensure that you are able to access food. These include priority access to online shopping services across a range of supermarkets, connecting you to a local organisation that can shop on your behalf through the Glasgow Helps website, and, where there is no family or community support, a standard Scottish Government food parcel.

 

I want to do my own shopping, how can I access priority slots for supermarket deliveries?

Priority supermarket deliveries are currently only available for those that have been advised by letter, to shield by the Scottish Government. To access this, you will need to register with the SMS Shielding Service. You can either do this direct by texting your CHI number to 07860 064 525 or contacting us to do this on your behalf (ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk or 0141 276 1185).

Once registered, simply text "1SHOP" or contact our Helpline to update your preferences to include access to priority shopping. Your details will then be shared with the supermarkets that are operating in Glasgow.

If you are an existing online account holder with any of the supermarkets, they will contact you directly. If you have not used online delivery services before, you will require to be set up as a new customer and will be contacted direct by text message regarding this. Once established, priority access should enable you to get a delivery slot within a week. Your preferred slot cannot be guaranteed though.

In addition to the national supermarket offers, we have partnered with the One O One Convenience Store team to create a shopping service to support our vulnerable citizens to access simple, essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply go online, select your local store, and submit your order and contact details. You will then be contacted directly by a team member to take secure payment over the phone. If you order by 10pm, you will be contacted by noon the following day for payment and to arrange delivery. You can access this here: www.one-o-one.co.uk/order. Your order will be delivered by a team of volunteers from Community Transport Glasgow direct to your door and contact free.

 

I'm not on the shielding list but my Dr has advised me to stay in, how can I access shopping?

There is a range of shopping offers that you can access to assist you:

Glasgow City Council has partnered with the One O One Convenience Store team to create a shopping service to support our vulnerable citizens to access simple, essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply go online, select your local store, and submit your order and contact details. You will then be contacted directly by a team member to take secure payment over the phone. If you order by 10pm, you will be contacted by noon the following day for payment and to arrange delivery. You can access this here: www.one-o-one.co.uk/order. Your order will be delivered by a team of volunteers from Community Transport Glasgow direct to your door and contact free.

A number of Food Delivery Schemes are in operation for vulnerable citizens. These are operated by Aldi, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Many supermarkets are also providing a Gift Card Scheme that enables you to buy vouchers (either physical to be posted out or emailed), to allow someone to shop on your behalf. These are operated by Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

A further option would be to visit www.glasgowhelps.org.uk to be matched with a local voluntary sector organisation that can shop on your behalf. Payment arrangements would be made directly with them.

 

I don't want to make online payments, is there another option?

Glasgow City Council has partnered with the One O One Convenience Store team to create a shopping service to support our vulnerable citizens to access simple, essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply go online, select your local store, and submit your order and contact details. You will then be contacted directly by a team member to take secure payment over the phone. If you order by 10pm, you will be contacted by noon the following day for payment and to arrange delivery. You can access this here: www.one-o-one.co.uk/order. Your order will be delivered by a team of volunteers from Community Transport Glasgow direct to your door and contact free.

In addition, the Co-op provide a Gift Card Scheme and Morrisons offer a Food Delivery Service that can be ordered by telephone.

A further option would be to visit www.glasgowhelps.org.uk to be matched with a local voluntary sector organisation that can shop on your behalf. Payment arrangements would be made directly with them.

 

I've no family to pick up my shopping and only need a few bits every now and again, can you help with that?

There are many local community and voluntary organisations that can help with access to shopping. You can search for an organisation near you by visiting www.glasgowhelps.org.uk or phoning 0141 354 0543.

 

I don't need my Scottish Government food parcel anymore, how do I cancel it?

It's really simple to stop your Scottish Government food parcel. If you are registered with the SMS service, simply text "STOPBOX". This will immediately cancel your delivery. If you need to restart these, simply text "1BOX" or "2BOX". Alternatively, you can contact the Shielding Helpline on 0141 276 1185.

 

Do I qualify for the Scottish Government food parcels?

Currently, only those that have received a shielding letter from the Scottish Government are eligible for the Scottish Government food parcel.

From the 24th July, those that are shielding are able to visit shops wearing a face covering. The weekly Scottish Government food parcel will continue to be delivered to those that had signed up before the 17th July. When shielding is paused on the 1st August the grocery boxes will stop. It is no longer possible to register for food parcels however you can still sign up to the SMS service up til the 31st July to ensure that you receive information updates and to access priority online shopping slots.

I have been getting a weekly grocery box from the Scottish Government. Will I still get this once shielding is paused?

No. The Scottish Government guidance advises that it is now safe for those that have been shielding to visit shops wearing a face covering. Alongside this, with the pausing of shielding, the delivery of food boxes will stop. Final deliveries will be made between the 27th and 31st July.

You will have received information in your weekly food box about alternative ways to access food. You will also have been sent a letter from Glasgow City Council advising that the food deliveries will stop. We have also contacted those in receipt of food boxes by telephone to discuss support that you might require to access food.

If you are unable to shop for yourself, have no family support and cannot access online services, you can contact the Shielding Helpline on 0141 287 1185 to discuss how we can best signpost you for assistance.

I have been receiving a fresh food parcel as well, will I still get this?

Glasgow City Council chose to supplement the standard Scottish Government food parcel for a time, with an additional weekly food delivery containing fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. The Scottish Government's advice in relation to the reducing coronavirus infection rate and the reduction of lockdown measures, including the ability to access shops has informed the commitment to end shielding from the 1st August. On this basis, both the Scottish Government, and the City Council's enhanced food parcels will cease to be provided on the 31st July 2020.

You will have been sent a letter from Glasgow City Council advising that the food deliveries will stop. We have also contacted those in receipt of our supplementary food boxes by telephone to discuss support that you might require to access food.

 

I wasn't on the shielding list but received food support from the Council, can I still get this?

 

Unfortunately not. The provision of food was to support those that were at an increased risk of infection as a result of a vulnerability. The Scottish Government advice is that the infection rate is sufficiently low that it is now safe for these groups to leave their homes, meet with friends and families and also to visit shops.

If you are currently in receipt of food parcels, you will have received a letter and been telephoned by a member of Council staff to discuss support you may require to access food in the best way for you.

If you are unable to shop for yourself, have no family support and cannot access online services, you can contact the Shielding Helpline on 0141 287 1185 to discuss how we can best signpost you for assistance.

 

 

Accessing Medication

I need to get my medication but have been advised to stay at home and have nobody to pick this up, what do I do?

Can I still get help to pick up my medication once shielding stops?

The Scottish Government guidance sets out that it is now safe for those that have been shielding to visit both shops and pharmacies wearing a face covering. In addition, pharmacies are also providing delivery services.

If you are still having difficulty accessing your medication and have no family support for this, you can contact the Shielding Helpline on 0141 276 1185 to discuss how we can refer you for assistance.

 

Work and Money

I can't work now that I have been advised to stay at home. How do I get a sick line?

Specific advice on returning to work for those that are shielding can be found here.


I am worried that I cannot pay my bills now I have to stay at home and can't work. What should I do?

If you need financial advice and support you can contact the Money Talk Team at the Citizens Advice Network. They can determine if you are entitled to any benefits and give advice on money. You can contact them on 0800 085 7145 or visit their website www.financialhealthcheck.scot

You can also be referred to financial advice services via our Shielding Helpline. If you need help, please contact the Shielding Response Team on 0141 276 1185 or email ShieldingResponse@glasgow.gov.uk

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