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Supporting the borough’s most vulnerable during lockdown 2

With the second national lockdown now in full swing, staff at Wokingham Borough Council have been redeployed from services including libraries and sport to support our frontline colleagues making sure the borough’s most vulnerable residents are safe and have the support they need. We’ve called 7,000 of our residents to check on their wellbeing and ensure they have the support they need in this second national lockdown.

In just ten days, 14 redeployed staff now working alongside seven existing from adult social care, were able to contact nearly 90 per cent of the borough’s clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) residents by phone – each staffer averaging 30 calls per day. The council’s adult social care team has also called all of the residents known to them who are vulnerable in other ways, to check their support is in place and their needs are being met.

The team will continue to make every effort to contact the remaining CEV residents, including knocking on the doors of all those over the age of 65 – the team have already personally visited all those over 75. The council has also sent a letter to each of the borough’s CEV residents containing guidance on staying safe and helpful contact numbers.

An overwhelming number of CEV residents so far receiving a call have been thankful for the telephone outreach, and the advice offered. Residents are telling us they are very pleased to have such a personal and caring approach from us.

The calls so far have generated:

  • 107 referrals to The Link Visiting Scheme, to support with social isolation. All 107 people have been contacted by The Link and regular welfare checks have been put in place.
  • 151 referrals to One Front Door (Citizens Advice Wokingham) for support with accessing food, medication or basic care needs. Wokingham Borough Council has extended its funding to One Front Door until the end of next March. One Front Door is just one part of the council’s Wokingham Borough Community Response in partnership with the borough’s voluntary services organisations. All referrals have been contacted and given the necessary advice and support and connected to local Covid support groups for delivery of prescriptions etc for those who need them
  • 40 referrals to the council’s adult social care where the need for formal support has been recognised, or risk identified

“The ability to be flexible in how we work has been vital to our success in dealing with Covid-19 to ensure our vital frontline services continue and all our residents have the support and help that they need,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services at Wokingham Borough Council.

“This goes for those all staff – those who have been redeployed, those who may now have increased workloads as a result of others being redeployed and all those carrying on their great work in these difficult circumstances.”

For anyone needing help or support at this time One Front Door is, as part of the council’s Wokingham Borough Community Response, still the fastest contact. It can help with prescription collections or a shopping service, debt advice from being made redundant, statutory sick pay and benefits, mental health, and wellbeing – to name but a few. Contact One Front Door 24/7 via its website or call it on (0300) 330 1189 Monday to Fridays, 9am to 5pm, and Saturdays, 9am to 1pm. You can also leave a voicemail out of hours.


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