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Practical guidance - FAQs

Below we have answers to many practical concerns you will have from accessing the right information to getting help where you live.

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What support is available where I live?

In England: If you're at high risk and struggling to organise essential supplies for yourself or for someone who is very vulnerable, you can register for support through the NHS Responder Scheme. Call 0808 196 3646 to make a referral or seek support for yourself. 

A Whatsapp service can allow you to find out the latest updates. Text 'Hi' in a Whatsapp message to the coronavirus info number: 07860 064 422. You will then receive different topics of interest from a menu.

In Scotland: For news of the national helpline for those who need assistance, see this page. On our Carers Scotland  website, we also bring together some very useful sources of help such as wellbeing support. For those seeking information about specific medical conditions, there is additional, detailed guidance on this page of the Gov.scot site or visit this page for the latest advice on shielding.

NHS 24 has developed a Covid-19 app. This links directly to NHS inform to help you find out the latest updates, check symptoms and more. Find out more.

In Wales: To request a free weekly food box, please call the special number for your local authority, which will be contained in the letter you received from the Chief Medical Officer. Contact your pharmacy if you need support to receive your medicines. Further up-to-date guidance and helpful resources are available on the Public Health Wales website.

In Northern Ireland: A freephone helpline is now available for all citizens to access advice, help and guidance. Call 0808 802 0020 (9am-5pm), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text: ACTION to 81025.

Wherever you live in the UK, you may find it helpful to find out about what local support is available in your area by using our Carers UK online directory for care support.


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Where can I find accessible resources about COVID-19 guidance?

If you have accessibility needs or care for someone who has, you can get support with claiming benefits and pensions. Please see this guidance for further information.

A range of COVID-19 guidance in accessible formats has been pulled together by Hounslow Council on this page. This includes translations of key information in different languages, easy-read versions and helpful sources of support.


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I’ve heard that my local authority/trust can support me as a carer – is that true?

It’s really important that councils – or health and social care trusts in Northern Ireland – know who the unpaid carers in their local area are, so that they can offer support and include carers in their emergency planning. We would urge you to contact your council or health and social care trust to register with them, letting them know that you are an unpaid carer. 

Top adviser tip: "Some local auInnovate iconthorities are now issuing unpaid carers letters to help evidence your role as a carer. Get in touch with your local carers centre to see if this is offered in your area: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/local-support"

 


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What do the terms self isolation and social distancing mean exactly?

Self isolation: This means that if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you need to stay well away from anyone else for 10 days if you live alone (14 days if living with others – and they too need to self-isolate for this time, even without symptoms). If you are living with someone vulnerable, see if they can stay somewhere else for 14 days. See the government's guidance for more information. 

Social distancing: This means you need to keep your distance from anyone else, unless you are part of the same household or are providing essential care to someone. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP and take particular care if you are at higher risk. In terms of the number of people you can see at the stipulated distance, different rules will apply depending on where you're based in the UK; see the governent's guidance.  

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