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Advice for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated in line with Tameside being placed into National Lockdown.

What has changed

This updated guidance is for everyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.
If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.
You should have received a letter directly from the government with detailed advice on what you need to do as someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding during this new national lockdown. Please read it carefully and follow the guidance accordingly.

Going to shops and pharmacies

 You should stay away from public places and ask friends, family or a community volunteer to get shopping in for you or to collect prescriptions. Alternatively if you have access to the internet use online services.
In the first instance please ask family, friends or neighbours if they are able to help you with key tasks like getting shopping in or collecting prescriptions. If you are online you can register for priority supermarket slots via the governments National Shielding Support Service portal. Details are in your letter from the government. Similarly GPs and pharmacies provide online access for prescription ordering and many will deliver if you have no one to collect it for you.
Supermarkets and other retailers are continuing to offer priority delivery slots for the clinically extremely vulnerable, as well as telephone ordering and food boxes to help the most vulnerable shop for themselves.
Tameside Council has established an Emergency Support Line to help people who have NO family, friends or neighbours available to support them
Get in touch if you need help with: 
  • Shopping.
  • Collecting prescriptions.
  • Other basic essentials
Our Emergency Support line can be reached on 0161 342 8355 and is open Monday to Wednesday 8:30am – 5pm, Thursday 8:30am-4:30pm and Friday 8:30am-4pm.
Our staff will be happy to talk you through the support available and make arrangements to help you.

You can also contact the Greater Manchester textphone helpline service on 07860 022876.  Messages will be responded to by the next working day. 

The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme will continue providing support with food, prescriptions and essential items to those who are self-isolating for any reason. You can contact them by calling 0808 196 3646 or by going online here.

Vitamin D supplements

During the autumn and winter months everyone is advised to take a supplement of vitamin D every day to support general health and in particular for bone and muscle health. Many of us have been indoors more than usual this year and so might not have been making enough vitamin D from sunlight. You can find general advice on vitamin D here:

This advice is particularly important for people who have been shielding this year due to COVID-19, or who are living in care homes, because they are most likely to have been indoors over the spring and summer and so may not have been able to obtain enough vitamin D from sunlight.

The Government is offering a free 4-month supply of daily supplements of vitamin D for all adults who are clinically extremely vulnerable to support general health and in particular for bone and muscle health. If you would like to opt-in to receive your free supply of vitamin D, you will need register your details between 30 November 2020 and 4 January 2021 at the following link:

You do not need to opt-in to receive the vitamin D supplements if:
  • You are already taking, or are prescribed, a vitamin D supplement by your GP or healthcare professional
  • You are currently living in a nursing or residential care home as we will provide these direct to the home where you live.
We expect to start distributing the vitamin D supplements from January 2021. Further guidance on how to safely take vitamin D supplements will be provided during the opt in process.

Getting more advice

If you need more guidance and advice, our dedicated webpages at contain a wealth of information including access to mental health support and general wellbeing. 
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