Last updated 4 April 2022
Here we try to answer some of the key questions that carers have been asking us about Coronavirus. Click on the links below to find the information you need.
What services are available?
We are here for you with the following support:
- Telephone helpline – open for advice and support (Monday-Thursday 0930 – 1630 and Friday 0930 – 1600). Please call us on 0800 181 4118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need us.
- Carer cafes – our face-to-face cafes are back up and running.
We urge anyone who is feeling unwell not to attend. We’ll be abiding by any rules put in place by our venues. Please get in touch before attending if you have any questions.
Visit our what’s on page for more details.
- Virtual meet-ups – we run a regular virtual meet-up online, which many carers find helpful, especially if they are unable to attend a venue or would prefer to socialise online. They’re an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation to yours and are facilitated by friendly CSW staff. Find out when these are taking place on our what’s on page or call us on the above number.
- Here to Talk – Our Here to Talk befriending service can put you in touch with one of our volunteers, many of whom have been carers themselves, for a friendly chat either on the phone or via a virtual meeting. Call our helpline to register for this service.
- Email newsletter – you can keep in touch with us via our monthly emails by subscribing here.
Government sources of information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
For the most up to date information on Coronavirus visit the Government’s COVID 19 website pages.
Information on self-isolation guidelines
From 1 April 2022, if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness, including Covid-19, and have not taken a Covid test you are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for as long as you have a high temperature (if you have one) or are feeling unwell.
If you have a positive Covid-19 test result, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after you took your test (the guidance is different for children and young people aged under 18).
Information on the Covid vaccine for unpaid carers
You can find out about the Covid vaccine on the website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/
You can book or manage a Covid-19 vaccine appointment here. This service can be used to book a first, second, third or booster dose of the vaccine, including a spring vaccine for those eligible and additional primary doses for those with a severely weakened immune system.
Looking after the person you care for
Free PPE for unpaid carers
If you require PPE – for example to care for someone who lives in a different household, or if you or the person you care for has been exposed to Covid – it is now possible to order it through a new portal. Visit this website to sign up for the service.
Once you have been signed up, PPE can be ordered after the 7th day from the last order. Supplies will be sent to individuals direct via Royal Mail and, should there be any issues, there is a customer services team available.
Information on using PPE
How do I protect someone I care for from coronavirus?
If you or the person you are caring for are clinically extremely vulnerable, you are no longer advised to shield. However, you should continue to follow the guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to continue taking extra precautions to protect yourself and the person you care for.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people should take extra precautionary measures if providing essential care, and ensure you follow the NHS hygiene advice for people at higher risk.
Carers UK have some useful advice on protecting the person you care for.
What do I do about shopping for the person I care for?
If you struggling to get shopping or need someone else to do your shopping for you, you can:
- Contact the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub at email@example.com or by calling 0300 003 4576. It’s available from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
What if I test positive for Covid?
If you test positive for Covid you may need to make plans for alternative face-to-face care for the person you care for, for example by calling on trusted family members, friends or neighbours.
If you are unable to arrange alternative care, you can contact Wiltshire Council Adult Social Care on 0300 456 0111.
If you are a parent carer, you can contact the Children’s Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0300 456 0108.
If you have paid carers or other home help coming into the house, you should inform them that you have tested positive.
- If you need urgent advice outside of normal office hours then contact Wiltshire Council Adult Social Care on 0300 456 0100.
What do I do if I have to change my support arrangements?
If the person you are caring for receives a direct payment or service from Wiltshire Council but you are now in a position where you are unable to use your support arrangements due to the wider impact of Covid-19 and you have no alternative arrangements available to you, please contact Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0111 to discuss your situation. If you are in receipt of a direct payment for you following a Carers Assessment and you wish to make a change to how you use it please call us on 0800 181 4118.
What do I do if I have a loved one in a care home?
There are no restrictions on the number of visitors someone in a care home can receive. Individual care homes will have their own procedures and you should check what these are with them.
Can I visit the person I am caring for when they are in hospital?
To find out what your local hospitals is doing please visit their website. If you are planning on visiting someone who is in hospital, it is advised to call the ward or hospital first.
I’m concerned that if I am unwell I will need to go into hospital and there will be no one to look after the person I care for.
If you are concerned that the person you care for cannot manage without your support, make sure that you tell hospital staff on arrival.
As a carer you need to know that if something happens to you, replacement care will be sorted out quickly and efficiently. If you already have a Carers Emergency Card we’d recommend you make sure the information is up to date.
If you haven’t signed up yet for a Carers Emergency Card, we’d advise that you think about creating an emergency plan.
- Carers UK also have some useful advice on creating an emergency plan
- As does Wiltshire Council.
- And Wiltshire CIL have an emergency plan template you can download from their website.
Looking after yourself
We know that the coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on many carers. Many of you have taken on extra caring responsibilities. A lot of you have felt increasingly isolated.
If you are feeling lonely or isolated:
- Why not join one of our virtual meet-ups or our face to face cafes? They’re an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation to yours and are facilitated by friendly CSW staff and volunteers. Find out when these meet-ups are taking place on our website
- Give us a ring on 0800 181 4118 and ask to join our Here to talk befriending service. One of our trained volunteers will call you regularly via phone or video call, to listen to anything you’d like to talk about. Many are former or current carers themselves and will understand and empathise with your situation.
Mind has some useful resources on how to support your mental wellbeing. You can find out more on Minds website.
For specific support for young carers and young adults carers see below.
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and need specific support during COVID-19, click here to find a list of organisations that can help you.
I’m a parent carer and have a young carer at home too, what help is there for me?
Queries about support for young carers in Wiltshire 5-15 years old should be directed to the Wiltshire Council Young Carers Team: YoungCarersTeam@wiltshire.gov.uk
The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council also have some useful resources for parent carers.
YoungMinds also has a free parent helpline for any parents/carers worried about a young person under 25. They are still open at this time.
New 24 hour mental health helpline for young people, children, and those concerned about a young persons mental health.
Barnardo’s has launched a new helpline for children and families affected by covid-19.You can call them for free on 0800 157 7015 to speak to a friendly person in their team. Monday to Friday 9am – 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm or use the form on their website.
Support from the Wiltshire Schools Nursing Service – for parent of any school age child
- We have duty nurses available at the end of the phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm should you require any support with your school age child. This is available permanently for all parents to access for advice and support. If you would like support please call one of our duty nurses through our Single Point of access on 0300 247 0090
- Keep up to date with messages sent from individual schools through their own communication platforms.
- If you have concerns about a young person please call Wiltshire MASH on 0300 456 0100
Young carers & young adult carers
It’s understandable having to stay at home due to the current situation might cause anxiety and worry for those who are experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse. But you are not alone, and it’s important to remember that there is help and support available to you. The government has produced a guide on where to get help, free helplines, and what to do if you call the police and can’t speak.
In Wiltshire, there is also the Splitz Support Service for those experiencing domestic abuse.