From B&DBC Councillors' Briefing Tuesday 31st March 2020 – 7.45pm
This briefing for councillors gives updates on the latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact on the borough council and its services.
Support for vulnerable residents – new helpline launched
Our contact centre is receiving a large volume of calls coming through from residents who need support with access to basic supplies. We are responding to the enquires as swiftly as possible, dealing with some calls directly, signposting to community groups where appropriate or escalating to Hampshire County Council who are dealing with the most vulnerable.
Hampshire County Council is acting as the main co-ordination point for all district community hubs and has now set up a hotline The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable - can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.
Vulnerable residents who need additional support, and do not have support from family or friends, should call the helpline to register for support. The county council will resolve complex cases and will pass on most other enquiries to ourselves as the local community hub to arrange support, such as deliveries of food.
We are working closely with Spotlight who are sourcing and delivering food parcels themselves or through more local support. The Basingstoke Foodbank continues to provide food for those unable to afford food and we are referring onwards to both as appropriate.
Spotlight received the first delivery of food from Hampshire County Council this afternoon, which was arranged by the government, and we are awaiting clarification of what further food support will be provided.
We are working with Basingstoke Voluntary Action https://www.bvaction.org.uk/
to co-ordinate community support in our borough during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Volunteers or local volunteer groups should visit www.bvaction.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteering or call 01256 423852 to register.
BVA has published an interactive map on their webpage www.bvaction.org.uk/basingstoke-deane-community-hubs/ showing the location and contact details for local groups.
Those people identified at risk of severe illness as a result of underlying medical conditions that make them more likely to be admitted to hospital have been written to directly by the NHS. They have been told that they should not leave home for at least 12 weeks. They have been advised that if they do not have friends, family or neighbours who can provide support, they should follow the instructions in their letter to register for help to access food, medicine and social contact via gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.
We understand that these different support initiatives may seem confusing. All of them are working closely together, with the helpline directing those needing local support to us. A useful guide for councillors is below.