Coronavirus: Advice for care homes, clinically vulnerable and older residents

We’re working closely with our social care teams to ensure they are aware of and providing the latest public health advice and information. We know this is a difficult and worrying time for residents but protecting you, our workers and tourists is our utmost priority.

We are working hard with our partners and the local community to coordinate our response. We have contingency plans in place to keep essential services running – that means looking after the elderly, the vulnerable, children, as well as delivering our street services such as emptying bins.

We are using these web pages to offer support and guidance which is available in a number of formats for residents who will be experiencing extended periods of social distancing and isolation. Such long periods will cause practical day-to-today issues as well as a potential impact on health and wellbeing so we will be offering as much information and advice as we can from a variety of sources to address these areas and to support residents. We will be updating this information regularly.

Support for vulnerable residents

The COVID-19 Hub has been set-up to co-ordinate the support being offered by the Council and by Kensington and Chelsea's voluntary organisations during the Coronavirus pandemic for vulnerable residents.

It serves as a first response for those residents who have been contacted by NHS and are “clinically vulnerable”, particularly those people who are elderly and/or vulnerable without support networks who need support to access medical/care services and food supplies. It is designed to help those most in need stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.

The hub is part of the Government’s Local Support Scheme to support the 1.5 million people identified by the NHS nationally as being at highest risk of severe illness and for whom self-isolation is most critical. The NHS has written to people with specific medical conditions and asked them to ‘shield’ themselves from COVID-19 by self-isolating for 12 weeks. Find out more about shielding on the GOV.UK website. If you believe you fall into this category and haven’t received a letter, or have received a letter but want to ensure you are registered for the support that is being offered you can register yourself on the GOV.UK website

Everyone who is required to shield is entitled to support to do so. The NHS has begun passing the contact details of these people to the Council and will continue to do so over the coming days and we will contact everyone in this group to make sure they get all the support they need.

The hub will also be able to signpost and refer people to support who are not part of the NHS list but who do not have easy access to support and are vulnerable. The hub will be able to direct people to the incredible local support on offer. We are working with our Voluntary and Community Sector partners to do this.    

You can contact the Covid-19 Hub by email at C19Hub@rbkc.gov.uk or call our dedicated line on 020 7361 4326.

The Covid-19 Hub is a dedicated, temporary service to support a targeted group of vulnerable people in the borough during the Coronavirus pandemic. For concerns relating to our permanent Adult Social Care services or general coronavirus queries see the ‘Getting help’ section below.

Getting help

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please contact Adult Social Care on 020 7361 3013 or email us at socialservices@rbkc.gov.uk.

We have also set up a dedicated Covid-19 email on: covid-19enquiry@rbkc.gov.uk, for any general queries. 

If you want to volunteer please visit the Kensington and Chelsea Volunteer Centre website and register your interest.

Maintaining and supporting mental wellbeing

We know that for many people the current Coronavirus situation may result in feelings of anxiety, loneliness or depression.

Not all support services are currently open, and we would strongly advise against going to A&E. However, if you need support with your mental health and wellbeing or someone to talk to, please call your GP or contact:

  • Community Living Well services are available for people aged 16 and over for people registered with a GP in Kensington and Chelsea
  • The NHS Single Point of Access Line - call 0800 0234 650 – open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • You can call NHS 111 if you or someone you know needs urgent care, but it's not life threatening 
  • The Samaritans – call 0330 094 5717 or freephone 116 123 – open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • The Listening Place – call 020 3906 7676 – open from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week 

If you feel that you or someone you know is in an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency, please dial 999.
Online sources to help maintain mental well-being:

Befriending services

If you are an older person, these schemes allow you to stay in touch over the phone, either through regular one-to-one chats, or as part of conversation groups.

Independent Age Telephone Befriending

The Independent Age Telephone Befriending Line Service for older people connects you with someone who cares, from Independent Age, in the comfort of your own home to have a chat.

Silver Line

The Silver Line Telephone Friend Service for older people connects you with someone to have a weekly chat to in the comfort of your own home. The Silver Line Circles is facilitated group telephone calls where people with shared interests can discuss topics that interest them with a wider group. Both services can be accessed via their number which is: 0800 470 8090.

Pepper Pot Centre

The Pepper Pot Centre in North Kensington can provide a telephone befriending service to older people to check if they are well and to help with any problems. Call 020 8968 6940 or email: reception@pepperpotcentre.org.uk for more information.

Digital or Home Library Service

If you have a tablet, phone, eBook reader or computer, you do not need to go out to your local library to borrow a new book or magazine to read.

If you are a member of a Kensington and Chelsea library, you will be able to borrow and download eBooks, eMagazines, eNewspapers, eAudiobooks and eComics for free straight to a dedicated app on your device.  Visit our Online resources and digital library webpages for more informaton.

If you do want a physical book to read, you can contact the Home Library Service.

Age UK Kensington and Chelsea

Age UK Kensington and Chelsea are setting up an online schedule of groups and activities which will be running from Monday 23 March.

If you would like to participate in these online activities, please email the Activities and Events Team at event@aukc.org.uk and they will send a timetable with activities that you can access.

You will receive an email every week with a link. Just press the link to access the activities and lessons. It is an easy and free service and if you have any IT problems or don’t have an email account, you can contact the team on 07508 342339 (Abi) or 07508 342205 (Ximena). 

Art, Music, Drama events online

Philharmonie Berlin

The Philharmonie Berlin is closed until 19 April 2020 to help contain Coronavirus but the orchestra will continue to play for you in the Digital Concert Hall.  Visit the Berliner Philharmoniker virtual concert hall free of charge. 

There are over 600 orchestral concerts from the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Digital Concert Hall from more than ten years.

The Wind in the Willows Musical online

As theatres are forced to close their doors, The Wind in the Willows the Musical is being made available to stream online for free. The film was recorded live at the London Palladium in 2017.

Watch The Wind in the Willows the Musical online.

The March Network

The March Network is a mental health network focused on the power of bringing people together with social, cultural and community assets.

With more people socially and physically distancing themselves, the March Network want to share some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times. The network links to a whole range of stimulating resources and media.

Pepper Pot CentreThe Pepper Pot Centre in North Kensington provide a meals on wheels service to their membership of older people from their base in North Kensington but have spare capacity to provide this for non-members.  Call 020 8968 6940 or email: reception@pepperpotcentre.org.uk for more information.

London DairiesLondon Dairies offers FREE next day home deliveries within LONDON postcodes supplying your basic dairy needs and now offers this with their small fruit & veg box offer. Call 020 8440 0619 or email info@londondairies.co.uk 

SupermarketsMost supermarkets and grocery stores are experiencing problems with over-buying by customers. Many are now prioritising delivery services to older and vulnerable people, people with disabilities and carers. They are also offering a ‘first hour’ for these priority groups after opening. Please check with your local supermarket for exact times of opening and delivery.