Coronavirus community support

Getting help with shopping and prescriptions

NHS volunteer responders

Vulnerable people and their families can call for support from the NHS volunteer responders.

The responders will be delivering medicine, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home.

Find out if you're eligible, and how to get in contact.

Prescriptions

Local pharmacies are experiencing unprecedented demand during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Please support your pharmacy by:

  • not over ordering
  • ordering repeat prescriptions online through your GP practice website or the NHS app
  • allowing at least seven days between ordering your prescription and collecting from a pharmacy (or five days if your surgery/NHS app says your prescription has been processed)
  • not ringing the pharmacy to see if your prescription is ready

If your prescription is urgent that day, please go to the pharmacy and they will complete as soon as possible. You may have to wait or call back.

Most pharmacies deliver or have put in place arrangements with local voluntary organisations to help out. Ask your local pharmacist or your GP about these services if you need them.

If you do not have friends, family or a carer to support you, visit the government website, call their dedicated helpline on 0800 028 8327, or call Staffordshire County Council’s emergency helpline on 0300 111 8050.

For more information visit the Staffs & Stoke Pharmacies website.

Shopping

If you or someone you know is self-isolating because of Coronavirus, you may be worried about getting essential food supplies.

Giving your money to someone to shop for you may be an option, but if you don’t know them, there are some ways in which you can make yourself safer:

  • If you need to ask for help it is always a good idea to ask someone you trust in the first instance - family, friends or neighbours.
  • Avoid giving cash to someone you don’t know if you can, and it is not recommended that you give out your bank card details to someone you don’t know. A bank transfer is recommended as the best option as there will then be a record.
  • If you have no option but to give someone money for your shopping and you don’t know the person, ask to keep some ID or take photograph of them before they leave with your money. Someone genuine won’t mind this being done as you are only protecting yourself. Also ask where the volunteer has come from - if it is a neighbour, where do they live, and have you seen them before? If the person is from an organisation, ask for details so that you can check them out.
  • Try online deliveries. If you can’t do this yourself you can get a friend or family member to set this up for you. Many of the larger supermarket chains have delivery services and some are now prioritising slots for people who are self isolating. If you are struggling to get a slot, try a smaller local shop. Many small independent shops are also now offering local delivery. Click and collect is also a service offered by the larger supermarkets - this is where you place and pay for your order online and someone can pick it up for you and drop it to your home. Many local restaurants are also now offering take away services.
  • You may also want to think about using the emergency shopping scheme that we have set up with the Co-op. You can call 0333 220 3088 for help with your shopping and to access other support.

Volunteer shopping cards - an alternative to cash

Volunteer shopping cards enable people who are self isolating to have their shopping collected by volunteers safely and securely. 

If you have to stay at home, the volunteer shopping card is great because it’s easy to:

  • buy online
  • send to your volunteer or print and leave for them in a safe place
  • stay secure—no bank or credit card details are exchanged
  • be safer as you’re not handing over cash
  • can be topped with extra funds online.

Volunteer shopping cards are available from the following supermarkets:

  • Asda
  • M&S
  • Waitrose
  • Morrison’s
  • Sainsbury’s – coming soon