The NHS and local councils in North Yorkshire say they are working together to ensure that support is provided for the most at risk patients during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last month, the NHS began writing to patients considered very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition to provide additional guidance on how to stay safe in the weeks ahead.
Patients who have received these letters are strongly advised to stay at home for 12 weeks and avoid any face-to-face contact.
The NHS in North Yorkshire and York, North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council say they have been working together to put in place measures which will support these patients in adhering to the new advice.
This includes providing follow up contact, and ensuring that all very high risk patients who do follow the advice are able to access the everyday essentials they need such as food and medicine.
To enable help to go where it is most needed very high risk patients are encouraged to ask family, friends and neighbours for support and to use online services where possible.
A network of local community, business and neighbourhood groups has activated across North Yorkshire and York providing help close to home in many communities.
Very high risk patients are also able to register for help with food, shopping, deliveries or other additional care on a national database —gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable — if needed.
Very high risk patients who are unable to access essential support from friends, family or their local community may also contact their local authority for help.
North Yorkshire County Council is contacting people who have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks because they are particularly vulnerable to make sure they are getting the help they need.
Anyone who does not have help and support from family, friends or neighbours can contact the council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780 8am to 5,30pm seven days a week including bank holidays.
Amanda Bloor, accountable officer at North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, speaking on behalf of NHS organisations in North Yorkshire and York, North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council, said: “North Yorkshire and York have done us proud in their collective community response to helping those in need.
“We want to make sure that everyone has a safety net.
“For those people who are unable to call on friends, family and neighbours at this time we are there to make sure that all very high risk patients have access to the essentials that they need.
“We encourage everyone who needs this additional support to register on the national database for very at risk patients or contact their local authority.”