COVID-19: Practical support

Guidance on how to get medication, shopping, and other everyday practicalities.

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Tips for people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Other useful contacts and sources of information


Tips for people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Getting assistance with foods and medicines if you are shielding 

  • Think about the things you need (such as food, medicines) and discuss your daily needs with people who can help, such as your family, neighbours, and healthcare team.
  • Look into local charities or local groups in your community that are offering help to people staying at home.
  • If you are worried about getting supplies for home and don't have anyone nearby that can help, contact your local council.

The Government recommends you ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and to use online services. If this is not possible, check what support is available where you live:

  • In England, you can access the NHS Volunteers Scheme by phone on 0808 196 3646.The government also provides a service you can use to find out what help you can get if you’re affected by coronavirus.
  • In Northern Ireland, you can contact the COVID-19 community helpline online or by phone on 0808 802 0020.
  • In Scotland, you can contact your local authority by telephone on 0800 111 4000 or textphone on 0800 111 4114 for help accessing food and medicines.
  • In Wales, the Welsh government website has more information on accessing support.

The Government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:

  • asking someone who can pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy (this is the best option, if possible)
  • contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) or deliver it to you.

You might also need to arrange for collection or delivery of hospital specialist medication that is prescribed to you by your hospital care team.

If you receive support from health and social care organisations, for example, if you have care provided for you through the local authority or health care system, this will continue as normal. Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you are protected. The advice for formal carers is included in the home care provision.

Avoiding infection

The current measures are necessary to keep everyone as safe as possible, and to help the NHS cope with the cases that do happen. 

  • Keep following the advice to regularly wash your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds) with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser. It’s especially important to do this if you've just got home, are about to eat, or have just coughed or sneezed.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces in the home.

Avoid having visitors to your home, including friends or family members, unless they are providing essential care for you. If they are providing essential care, talk to them about extra precautions they can take to keep you safe

Getting help with finances

If you are worried about your finances, visit GOV.UK to see what help is available to you. Macmillan Cancer Support also has information about financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Other useful contacts and sources of information

The government and NHS are continually updating their advice and information in relation to coronavirus and provide the most up-to-date information currently available. 

GOV.UK website
NHS England
BBC News
ACAS working for everyone (Helpline 0300 123 1100)
The Money Advice Service 
Citizens Advice 
Maggie’s Centres 
CCLG (Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group) has detailed advice for children with blood cancer, including lymphoma, who are currently undergoing treatment. 

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