The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have created a protocol on dealing with Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people.

They are trying to avoid using the term shielding as this is not a full reintroduction of shielding and not as restrictive (although it has many of the features of it). The new guidance is in place until 2 December and for the whole period of lockdown.

  • Southwark currently has 10,820 CEV residents. On 1 June 2020 - 2,065 residents did not have access to essential items and requested deliveries.  
  • The National Shielding Support System will go live again from 3rd November so people can register for support. 
  • Arrangements for delivery of medicines are being put back in place through community pharmacies - local authorities are not being expected to support this as happened before.  Community Pharmacies will be funded to do this.
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have written to all CEV residents but this will not give individual local authority contact details – they will include the National Shielding contacts and the NHS volunteers contacts. Therefore the Community Hub is sending a draft a letter that will be sent to those CEV residents to provide details of the Community Hub and other support.
  • DHSC want local authorities to proactively contact those CEVs who have registered for support or are newly added to the list. The Community Hub is in the process of upscaling the contact centre in order to make these welfare calls.  
  • The emphasis is no longer on direct provision of food support but addressing other needs and where people need support referring for example to the priority food shopping delivery slots and the NHS volunteer scheme.

Food support and provision: 

In this period of time, the Council would discourage any new food banks or mutual aid groups wanting to set up one of their own. But fully encourage partnership and support work to be done with the existing Food hubs.

The rationale for this is for the following reasons are, a) the current food hubs are fully prepared for this lockdown and are well established to adapt their service provision, and b) the Council's Community Hub, set up at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, has not got the same amount of resource and funding as the first lockdown which will affect any support they can provide to any group wanting to set up a food bank

Southwark Food Action Alliance

SFAA Map sample

Community Southwark administers the Southwark Food Action Alliance (SFAA) which is a network of local food banks and food security initiatives in the borough of Southwark. You can view food banks, emergency food, surplus food, low-cost food, and distributions hubs via the link below:

Map of food security groups

Southwark Food Action Alliance webpage

If mutual aid groups want to refer anyone or has concerns they can contact:

The Community Hub: [email protected] or call 020 7525 5000 (option 3)

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels