Health advice and support

Support for the clinically extremely vulnerable

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated guidance for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) individuals with additional advice on how they can protect themselves during this second lockdown. 

It contains the following advice:

  • you should stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments
  • you may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble to exercise outdoors, for example in an outdoor public place
  • you’re advised to work from home, and if you can’t work from home then should not go to work
  • you’re advised not to go to the shops and pharmacies, and travel only where essential
  • children who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable because their GP or clinician has confirmed they need to remain on the CEV list should not attend school, and their school will make arrangements for them to continue their education at home
  • clinically Extremely Vulnerable people can register for support through the National Shielding Service System (NSSS) website – these support needs will flow through to councils

DHSC are writing to all CEVs in England outlining the updated guidance and providing them with details of how they can seek support, should they need it.

We will also be writing to all CEVs we have supported in the past and others we've identified, including the families of children.

Some additional advice:

  • register yourself on the NSSS – even if you don't need any support, this will help us know you're needs are met and save you receiving unnecessary calls from us
  • if you have requested a call back, we will call you on the number provided to find out what support you may need, if we cannot get hold of you over the phone after several attempts we will send one of our volunteers to you at home for a welfare check
  • access support from family/friends/neighbours for shopping, collecting medicines etc, but always in a covid secure way
  • keep using your supermarket priority delivery slot - if you don't yet have one, use the NSSS to secure one
  • if you need medicines collecting for you, ask your pharmacist for free delivery
  • if you have a problem with these or need other support that isn't available from your family and friends, contact NHS volunteers
  • if there's anything else you need, please contact the LCC covid helpline on 01522 782189 and we'll find someone to help you

Support for parents who have CEV children

If you are unable to work due to caring responsibilities arising from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are unable to go to school because they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or self-isolating, you should speak to your employer about the policies they have in place.

Some employers may:

  • pay full pay for all or some of the period
  • allow you to take paid holiday for the time you're off work
  • offer emergency leave

You may also be eligible for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) under the ESA Coronavirus regulations – subject to conditions. Those who need urgent support may also be entitled to Universal Credit, depending on individual circumstances.

There are also employment protections in place to support you in these circumstances: 

  • you have the right to take time off work for dependents in need, although this is unpaid
  • you have the legal right to request flexible working, provided you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks
  • employers can only reject a request where they have sound business reasons for doing so

All further guidance for people classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable can be found on