Friday, March 27, 2020

A united front for those at highest risk from Coronavirus

West Lancashire Borough Council, in conjunction with local health and community partners supporting West Lancashire, has launched a new Local Support System, West Lancs Together which will offer support to those most vulnerable within the borough.

Working in conjunction with local and national agencies this will be a targeted approach to support those who have been identified by the NHS as being at risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19 and have been asked to isolate themselves (referred to nationally as ‘shielding’) for a period of at least 12 weeks. These individuals will have received a letter or text message from the NHS to notify them that they have been categorised as at risk. This could be due to a number of reasons such as living with cancer or receiving an organ transplant.

We understand these extremely vulnerable people may not have a support network to rely on and West Lancs Together will pool together resource to be able to provide support with food, medicines and social contact during this phase of isolation.

Those identified by the NHS as at risk people can access this practical support either via West Lancs Together or by calling the Freephone number 0800 616 667 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Needs will be prioritised on those who will not be able to rely on family and friends for practical support while they remain at home. If anyone is feeling vulnerable you can contact the service so we can understand your needs and what level of support we could provide.

 West Lancs Together is supported by the NHS and the voluntary and faith sector. The Local Support System is also currently sourcing food industry partners and we would welcome any organisation who could offer support or supplies to get in touch https://westlancs.citizenspace.com/local-plan/vulnerablesupport/.

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of the Council said "We are facing a period of unprecedented challenge at this time and recognise some people living locally are more vulnerable than others. We know this can be difficult for everyone financially, physically and mentally, so we have created a measured robust mechanism that can help people in various ways depending on their needs.  "We need to reach out to those who need us most and show our community spirit when it really matters.  I’d like to personally thank all partners across West Lancashire who have worked tirelessly to coordinate this much needed support network for our most vulnerable communities. Working together, we can provide a unified front to this current crisis and I know there will be many local businesses, volunteer groups and people who will want to do their bit and support their community."

We would like to highlight to the community this helpline is for those vulnerable individuals categorised most at risk.  If anyone would like further information on Coronavirus, the main Government website is kept up to date with key information: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

If anyone is currently at home with Covid-19, please remain at home.  If your condition worsens and you cannot manage your symptoms at home, please visit 111 online.  Only call 111 if you cannot access support online.

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