Advice and Information

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Shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19). They should have received a letter advising them to shield or have been told by their GP or hospital clinician.

Government guidance

If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable you were advised to take extra precautions during the peak of the pandemic in England. This is known as ‘shielding’. The government is advising that you do not need to shield from 1st August. This is because the rates of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community have fallen significantly.

The extent to which you resume activities you used to do before March 2020 is down to your preference and circumstances.

From 1st August 2020 you can
•return to work if you cannot work from home and your workplace is covid safe.
•participate in activities such as going to the shops or places of worship.
•continue accessing priority supermarket delivery slots and NHS volunteer responder scheme.

Full details are available on the government website.

Being prepared

As a household, you can now plan and prepare for any changes in present circumstances so that if you or someone that you rely on has to self-isolate or is unavailable you still have access to everything you need.

Stay informed and in touch

  • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from Dudley Council.
  • Sign up to Dudley newsletters.
  • Create a list of local organisations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbours, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers and other community resources.

Access to essentials

  • Set up an online shopping account – Check that providers will be able to deliver to your door if you have access requirements
  • Find out whether any of your local shops deliver
  • Call 0300 3302 152 to get the contact details for the Food Bank, CAB or DCVS and the services they offer
  • Call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 if you need to update us of your circumstances
  • Start to build up a stock so that you can ensure that you have enough essential supplies including medicines in the house for two weeks
  • Learn how to use the internet for everyday essentials and social contact
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home. Stay at home if possible.
  • Ensure you have enough supplies in your house so that you can meet your pets needs for two weeks

Preventative actions

  • Follow guidance on social distancing and hygiene.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. More advice on face coverings.
  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
  • If someone in your home is sick - If you become concerned call 111 for life threatening emergencies call 999.

Support Available

Shopping for Food and Essential Supplies

If you registered with the National shielding list you will be eligible for priority online shopping for a number of national supermarkets who have access to the database.

Please note that some supermarkets will only deliver to the outside of a block of flats.

There are also commercial food delivery options available, including food boxes and prepared meals. Use a search engine to find out what services are available near you.

Morrisons offers an order by phone service. Call 0345 322 0000 to find out more.

Dudley Council Plus

To pay for and find information on any council service.

Please call 0300 555 2345, Mon - Fri, 8.30am - 5pm and Sat, 9am - 12 noon or visit the services web page


For repeat prescription if you wish to continue receiving your items by delivery arrange something with your usual pharmacy. For new medications contact your doctor to arrange the prescription. If your pharmacy are unable to arrange delivery contact the NHS Responders - details below.

NHS Responders

0808 195 3646 8am - 8pm. This service also provides help with shopping, medication or other essential supplies for those who are vulnerable at risk.

NHS Health at Home This service signposts the public to the information they need to contact their GP, order repeat prescriptions, and manage their wellbeing and existing conditions - without having to leave home.

Welfare benefits support during coronavirus

Welfare Benefits Coronavirus helpline

The council has set up a Welfare Benefits advice line for those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Please call 01384 815002

Tue and Thu, 9.30am - 1pm and 2pm - 4.30pm

Dudley Council Housing Support Team

This team provides support on welfare benefits matters such as Universal Credit, rent arrears, debt advice, furniture needs and utilities etc.

Please call 01384 812504 between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Mental health support

Dudley MIND

For people who are feeling anxious and would like emotional support.

Please call 01384 442938, Mon - Fri, 8am - 12 midnight and Sat and Sun, 10am - 12 midnight.

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust 24 hour helpline

A new, 24/7 helpline which is open to residents of all ages across the Black Country and will give access to urgent mental health, learning disability and/or autism support.

Monday – Sunday, 24 hours a day – call 0345 6460827 – press 1 in you live in Sandwell or Wolverhampton and press 2 if you live in Dudley or Walsall

National helplines

Age UK

For practical information and advice. Call free on 0800 169 65 65

The Silver Line

For a cheerful chat, day or night. Call free on 0800 470 80 90


If you’re feeling really alone and very stressed, the Samaritans provide a 24-hour listening service. Call free on 116 123

If you are feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus, these websites provide helpful and supportive information:

Spotting covid related scams / calls

How to protect yourself

Protect yourself by making sure you:

  • Never give money or your payment details to anyone who volunteers to help you who you don’t know. There are many local groups set up to help people but they should never ask for personal bank details
  • Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial information
  • Install the latest software and updates on your devices
  • Research a company before making payments online and always use a credit card if you have one not a debit card

If you suspect a bogus caller operating in your area contact the dedicated out of hours Bogus Caller Hotline on 01384 812045 or the Dudley Scams Unit on 01384 818871.

Basic care needs

Dudley Carers Hub

If you care for a family member or friend and are concerned, call Dudley Carer’s Hub Advice Line on 01384 818723 Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.

Access to Adult Social Care helpline

For people who use adult social care services and are worried about service closures or need adult social care support or advice.

Please call 0300 555 0055, Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm and 0300 555 8574 for emergency contact at all other times.

Further Information

We have a dedicated mailbox for queries about how Dudley Council can support you mail or call on 0300 555 2345. This service is open 9 - 5:30pm weekdays.