Some useful info from Blackpool Council below which includes many FAQ’s on people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, Housing, Testing, Education and Support for businesses
People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV)
As Blackpool was moved in to Tier 4 on the 31st December 2020, shielding for our Clinically Extremely Vulnerable population (approx. 6,800 individuals) had been reintroduced. Letters have been sent to all those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable from the Department of Health.
People who are shielding will not be eligible for a food parcel. The ability to secure shopping slots and services is now considered to be more resilient, and the Council will monitor this locally. As with any household, if a person in a shielded household is struggling to buy food and essentials, the Council’s discretionary support service will be able to work with them to ensure that they have support in the short term and given the advice and help they need to make longer term plans.
This time, as in November, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are not being advised not to go outside – so they will still be able to leave their homes for exercise in their immediate local area under the same guidance as all households.
People who are CEV are advised to work from home, and if not able to, not to attend work. Employers are encouraged to work with employees who cannot work from home to help them to access the furlough scheme if eligible, and where they are not, employees will be entitled to financial support through SSP or ESA.
We will be making proactive telephone contact with all of the CEV’s who have received support from us at any point and may be in need again, and those who have newly been added to the CEV cohort since the last lockdown. For anyone needing support who may not have needed it last time, the Council’s Corona Kindness support line 0808 196 3080, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and online form (Corona Kindness community hubs (blackpool.gov.uk) remain open.
People who a may not be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable but are impacted by the Lockdown
The Council’s Corona Kindness scheme is still in place and offers advice, reassurance, links to sources of direct support and through volunteers for anyone who is worried for themselves or someone else. People can be supported with details of shopping services, help to access prescriptions, and be linked in with a wide range of services to help with social isolation. If people are worried and they do not know who to ask for help, Corona Kindness is a really good place to start.
The Council are supporting over 100 people in temporary accommodation at the moment, and they will continue to apply a supportive approach to enabling people who have housing issues, including those who are homeless and present without access to appropriate accommodation. Housing options will remain open to provide direct support from their offices Monday to Friday and are as always available to support over the phone.
Education and Free School Meals
Our schools across Blackpool are working hard to offer a safe physical learning space for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, and online learning resources for children who are staying at home. We are working with them to support this effort, with the schools and DfE to ensure that practical resources, including devices and the data need to make effective use of them, are in place to facilitate good learning for all pupils. We are also stepping back up our catering support so that children eligible for free school meals continue to get the support they need whether in school or at home.
Testing capacity is monitored closely in Blackpool and across Lancashire and currently, people are able to access testing at a local testing site and by getting a test posted to their home if they are worried that they have any symptoms of Covid 19. Regular and robust testing is in place for staff and residents in care homes, and the NHS undertakes regular testing across their workforce as well as with patients in hospital. In addition to this our public health team are working with large employers, including the Council, across the town to offer asymptomatic “lateral flow” rapid testing to anyone who would like to participate. Across Lancashire the programme is designed to build the capability in large employers to continue to test for as long as they need to.
The Council’s team will be working hard now and in the coming weeks to ensure that businesses impacted by the lockdown and eligible for support through the local authority are receiving the money that they are entitled to. Most of the eligible business have already received support and been through the appropriate checks, so when the guidance is in place payments will be made as quickly as possible. The chancellor has announced that in January there will be a range of one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring and a £594 million discretionary fund to support other impacted businesses
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
o £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
We know that business who are not required to closed can nevertheless be experiencing significant challenge in these times, and our business support helpdesk are available to offer advice and support wherever they can – an online form can be found, alongside the latest information and guidance for businesses through this link: