Get help if you are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus

Some residents have been identified by the NHS as being clinically extremely vulnerable as they have a very specific medical condition that makes them at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19, or they have been identified by the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment

If you have been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this.

Latest update

If you are in this category, the Government has published updated guidance that you should follow to help you stay safe and well.

From 1 April clinically extremely vulnerable residents are no longer being advised to shield. You will receive a letter or email from the Government informing you of this and the specific advice that you should now follow.

Everyone on the Shielded Patient List should already have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not yet received your first dose, please contact your GP. If you have received your first dose, you should still ensure you take up your second dose of the vaccine when it is offered to you. Having two doses should further increase your level of protection.

Below is a summary of the Government guidance you are now advised to follow.

Going to shops and pharmacies

While you are not advised to avoid going to the shops, you may wish to continue using online delivery for food and essential shopping, or to rely on family and friends. If you do go out to the shops or pharmacy, consider going at quieter times of the day.

If you have already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots then the participating supermarket will continue to offer this until 21 June.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is still available to collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies - call 0808 196 3646 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.


Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. If you cannot work from home, you should go to work. Your employer is required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace and should be able to explain to you the measures they have put in place to keep you safe at work.

Separate Government guidance has been issued on how employers can make workplaces COVID-safe including how they can maintain social distancing and a system of risk management in your workplace. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also published guidance on protecting vulnerable workers, including advice for employers and employees on how to talk about reducing risks in the workplace.

From 1 April you will no longer be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) on the basis of being advised to shield.

If you need support to work at home or in the workplace you can apply for Access to Work. Access to Work may provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.

School, college and other educational settings

Clinically extremely vulnerable pupils and students should return to their school or other educational setting from 1 April. This includes early years provision, wraparound childcare and applicable out-of-school settings. Children who live in a household with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable are not advised to shield and should have returned to school or college on 8 March.


Consider travelling outside peak hours to reduce the number of people with whom you come into contact. If you need to travel, walk or cycle if you can. Please do not car share with people from outside your household or support bubble and ensure you use a face covering when using taxis.

Socialising inside and outside the home

Continue to maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Continue to minimise the number of social interactions that you have. The fewer social interactions you have, the lower your risk of catching COVID-19. When the rules allow you to meet with others from outside of your household, your risk of catching COVID-19 is lower if you meet them outdoors.

Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing, or where other people’s activities may reduce the likelihood of individuals maintaining social distancing. You can continue to form or maintain existing support bubbles and childcare bubbles.

Additional care and support

You should continue to seek support from the NHS for your existing health conditions. It is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well.

Any carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit. They should continue to follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.

Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable has been and remains advisory.


The Government food boxes have now stopped and are not due to be reintroduced. However, there are a number of ways you can still access support.
If you have already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots then the participating supermarket will continue to offer this until 21 June.

The NHS Volunteer Responders can continue to go shopping for you and pick up prescriptions. A check in and chat service is available for regular talks over the phone. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. More information is available on the NHS Volunteer Responders website.

Vulnerable or housebound residents can also order shopping via telephone with Sainsbury’s or Morrisons for next day delivery.

  • To place an order with Sainsbury’s, call 0800 9178 557  - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
  • To place an order with Morrisons, call 0345 611 6111 - Sunday to Tuesday, 9am to 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm and select option five. Morrisons customers can choose from a list of 47 essential items.

If you urgently need groceries, you can also order shopping from food delivery companies like Deliveroo or UberEats

For those who are struggling with finances as a result of COVID-19, you can apply for the Council’s discretionary support grants.

If you are feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed during this period, please have a look at our list of mental health resources.

You can also access additional support from your energy supplier. Energy suppliers are required by the regulator, Ofgem, to hold a register of customers in a vulnerable circumstance, called a Priority Service Register. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you can be added to this register. For information about how to be added to the register and the additional services your supplier can provide you, please visit Ofgem’s website.   

If you are in this group and need urgent support

Please contact our Community Hub:

If you don't currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered

You can arrange this by:

  • Asking someone who can pick up your prescription to do so from the local pharmacy
  • Contacting your pharmacy to ask them to help you find a volunteer (who will have been ID checked) to deliver it to you. You can find your local pharmacy online.