Summary of guidance on new national restrictions in the UK
Below is a summary of the latest COVID-19 restrictions in the UK (on 04/11/20), which is intended to address some of the more general questions that families living with Dravet Syndrome may have. The situation is ever evolving, so we will continue to share any new details as they emerge.
At this time, there is no return to “formal” shielding. The government has said that it would only reintroduce formal shielding advice in the worst affected local areas and for a limited period of time. Instead, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to be especially careful when following the rules and to take additional measures as detailed in the guidance note.
If you think your child or adult may be extremely clinically vulnerable and need additional help to follow this guidance, your local council may be able to help. For families in England, there is now a new online service where you can register yourself or someone else to:
- request access to a priority supermarket delivery slot (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you will keep them)
- tell your council if you need support to follow this guidance, especially if you are unable to arrange this yourself or with the help of friends, family or other support networks
- make sure your details, such as your address, are up to date
Clinically vulnerable & extremely clinically vulnerable
Information about who is included ‘clinically extremely vulnerable' list can be found here. In brief: anyone who has an annual flu jab is generally considered to belong to the ‘clinically vulnerable list'. Parents/carers of anyone who is on the ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ should be contacted by the NHS or local authority. If you are unsure, speak to your medical team.
Care at home
Care at home can continue as before. Registered childcare and other childcare activities will continue if it allows parents to work or for the purposes of respite care. The Carer’s UK website sets out useful advice, if you are caring for someone who is deemed to be extremely vulnerable.
Support bubbles remain in place. This is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.
Meeting other people
You can, as an individual, meet up to 1 person from another household in an outdoor public space. The advice adds that “children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside”. This means that someone from another household, for example a grandparent, can legally meet you and your child/adult in an outdoor public space. Social distancing guidelines should be followed in this scenario.
Each nation in the UK has its own detailed governmental guidance for COVID-19 restrictions, with some differences in approaches and timings of lockdowns between nations. Click on the links for more information:
- England (applicable until Wednesday 2nd December)
- Northern Ireland (applicable until Monday 16th November)
- Scotland (latest guidance announced on Monday 2nd November)
- Wales (applicable from Monday 9th November)
For more information
There’s some helpful online resources that give more detail on these topics.
WellChild UK and IPSEA, experts on SEN provision, have also updated their guidance. Although this relates primarily to children with special needs, much of their advice is also relevant to adults.
We know lockdowns can been especially tough on the Dravet community. As long as the overall guidance is followed then, ultimately, it’s important to follow your instincts and make decisions that feel right for you as a family. If you have specific medical concerns, we do recommend speaking to your medical team.
Don’t forget too that Teresa, our Family Support Manager, is here to provide emotional support for families during lockdown and beyond. Her working hours are Monday-Friday, 10:30-15:30 and you can call on 01246 912421.