Government guidance updated on shielding and social distancing
Extremely vulnerable people who have been ‘shielding’ are now able to spend time outdoors, the government has announced.
New guidance on shielding was released yesterday with the change taking effect from today. The key points are:
- People who are shielding remain vulnerable, should continue to take precautions and are strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.
- Time spent outdoors can be with members of their own household. If they live alone, they can spend time outdoors with one person from another household. Ideally, this should be the same person each time.
- It is advised that shielded people keep visits outside to a minimum (for instance once per day), go out when there are fewer people out, like early in the morning, and avoid going into enclosed spaces and other households, shops and buildings.
- People should stay alert when leaving home: washing hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.
Guidance on social distancing has also been amended to reflect the announcement that from today, for the non-shielding population, gatherings of up to six people from different households in any outdoor space including private gardens are allowed.
The answers to frequently asked questions about what you can and can’t do has been amended to reflect all changes.
Engagement launched on future of health services
Working in partnership, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover, have launched a programme of public engagement on the biggest modernisation of local health services in 50 years.
Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services is a programme that will involve all NHS and social care services across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas.
Along with the constructionof a brand new hospital, the central aim of all partners is to deliver a joined-up healthcare system that supports patients, their families and their carers to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time in order to keep them healthy.
In 2019, Hampshire Hospitals was named as one of the trusts chosen to receive capital funding as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP). This is designed to support 40 hospital building projects across the country between 2025 and 2030 and it is this funding that will be used to create the new hospital.
The partnership has developed a ‘listening document’ which explains the challenges currently faced and opportunities the programme presents. This document, along with more information about the programme, can be found at www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk
Throughout June and July, the NHS organisations working in partnership will be asking for views from the public. There is an opportunity to share your views here:
If you would like to receive the ‘listening document’ and a comment form by post, write to the programme at FREEPOST Hampshire Together (no stamp required) with your name and address.
Small Business Discretionary Grants Scheme
Following the government’s announcement of a further discretionary grant scheme on 1 May, the council is administering this support to small and micro businesses who have not been eligible for any other support measures to date. This is an important part of the work taking place to support the local economy and help protect local jobs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Grants of £2,500, £5,000, £7,500 or £10,000 will be available for small and micro businesses in the borough linked to their level of fixed property overheads costs as part of the Small Business Discretionary Grants Scheme.
Businesses must also be able to demonstrate a significant loss of income as a result of the impact of COVID-19. To be eligible the business must have fewer than 50 employees, occupy a property with a rateable value of up to £51,000 or part of a property with a rateable value of up to £51,000. The business must also not be eligible for any other government schemes including (but not limited to):
• Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
• Small Business Grant Fund
• Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
• The Fisheries Response Fund
• Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme (DSSS)
• The Zoos Support Fund
• The Dairy Hardship Fund.
Businesses have until 4.30pm on Friday 5 June to apply for this support. Please do share this information with any eligible businesses in your areas. For more information on the eligibility criteria and to apply, please visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/COVID-19-business-support-and-grants.