Support for your service users
Edition 40 – Wednesday 27 January
Reports of Covid vaccination scams are becoming more and more frequent, and the scams more sophisticated. Please ensure that your beneficiaries know that the NHS is the only organisation which has access to the vaccine, and will never ask for money. Medical or health professionals will not come to your home unannounced and without prior notification.
Easy-read vaccination guide
Public Health England have produced an easy-read version of their Covid-19 vaccination guidance. Adults with Downs Syndrome are considered more likely to be at serious risk.
For information about the local roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, take a look at these frequently asked questions. This video commissioned by Muslim Council of Southampton addresses common questions about the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK. The answers are provided by Aiman Alzetani, a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon working in the NHS and based at University Hospital Southampton.
Support for vulnerable residents
Anyone who needs advice or support during the national lockdown can access help via the dedicated Hampshire Covid-19 Helpline. The most common support required by residents is food shopping, followed by prescription ordering and delivery, and dog walking.
The Covid Support and Helpline can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. For the duration of the national lockdown, the helpline is open as follows:
- Weekdays: 9am-5pm
- Weekends: 10am-3pm
Residents can also request a call-back from the helpline by completing a call-back request form.
Free and confidential advice and support for children and young people
No Limits is continuing to support hundreds of children and young people during the pandemic via phone, email, web chat, Zoom and limited face-to-face support. With anxieties around ill-health, the uncertainty of the future and a rise in unemployment, more and more children and young people are dealing with complex issues, including mental health difficulties, homelessness, poverty, relationship struggles and more. If you, or a young person you know, needs access to free and confidential support, you can contact a No Limits Youth Worker by phoning 02380 224 224, emailing or by starting a web chat at on their website
For the latest updates to No Limits’ services, click here
‘Ask for ANI’
The Home Office has launched a new ‘Abuse Codeword Scheme’ that provides a simple and discreet way for people experiencing domestic abuse to signal that they need help and to access support. By “asking for ANI” (short for Action Needed Immediately) at participating pharmacies nationwide, people will be offered a private space where a trained pharmacy worker can understand if the victim needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as national or local domestic abuse helplines.
Read the full story
Citizens Advice Project Update
There are a number of projects on offer to clients at present. Support can be accessed via Local Citizens Advice offices.
There are four that are new to Citizens Advice Hampshire:
- “Home and Well” for patients being discharged from hospital. For further information email here
- “Ubenefit” for clients facing Covid related financial difficulties (until 31st March 2021). Clients can self refer here
- “Surviving Winter” providing financial support to older people over winter (until 31st March 2021).
- “Winter Grants” providing fuel/food vouchers (until March 2021). Click here for more information
These are in addition to Macmillan Cancer Advice Service, Gamble Support, Healthwatch Hampshire and from February 2021 Kickstart.
Older Person’s Bus Passes
From 25 January, the start time restrictions will be lifted so older person’s bus passes can be used at any time. This temporary change to the scheme is intended to continue until schools reopen to all students. Residents who have a disabled person’s bus pass can already use these at any time, seven days a week. It is anticipated that the extension should support older people travel to early morning vaccination appointments, and to travel at quieter times for essential journeys e.g. food shopping.
Cervical cancer awareness
Women are being urged to attend their routine cervical screening when they are invited by the GP. Councillor Judith Grajewski said “Measures are in place during the pandemic to make sure it is safe to attend your regular cervical screening when you receive a letter from the GP. It’s a five-minute test that could save your life.”
More information here
Edition 38 – Wednesday 13 January
New Covid Scams
The Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board has been made aware that scammers are trying to take advantage of people’s worries and uncertainty about the pandemic, especially those who are alone, self-isolating or in financial difficulty within the Hampshire Area.
The NHS is the only organisation which has access to the vaccine, and will never ask for money. Medical or health professionals will not come to your home unannounced and without prior notification. If anyone attempts to force or coerce you into handing over funds – in person or otherwise – always contact the police.
Covid 19-related scams include:
- Sales of fake products such as face masks, supplements, anti-virus kits and sanitisers, which may be harmful or simply never arrive
- Bogus healthcare workers who try to gain access to your home by claiming to offer testing or vaccinations for Covid-19
- People pretending to be from charities offering to do shopping or carry out cleansing tasks
- Emails asking for donations to the NHS.
The HSAB Covid-19 Information Hub has information on where to get help and find out more information on Covid-19
Support for vulnerable residents
Anyone who needs advice or support during the national lockdown can access help via the dedicated Hampshire Coronavirus Helpline. The most common support required by residents is food shopping, followed by prescription ordering and delivery, and dog walking.
The Covid-19 Support and Helpline can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. For the duration of the national lockdown, the helpline is open as follows:
- Monday to Friday – 9am-5pm
- Weekends – 10am-3pm
Residents can also request a call-back from the helpline by completing a call-back request form.
Edition 37 – Wednesday 6 January
Covid-19 Vaccination Scam Alert
There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity.
The NHS will never ask for a person’s banking information so please do not provide as it will be a scam
- There is a texting scam leaflet you can download here
- The scam has been reported in the media here
Edition 36 – Wednesday 16 December
The NHS is continuing to contact people in the priority groups when it is their turn to receive the vaccine. Please do not contact the NHS about the vaccine. When it is the right time for you, you will receive an invitation to come forward.
The ‘Wave 1’ primary care sites going live with vaccination clinics this week are:
- Fareham Community Hospital
- Hampshire Court Hotel, Basingstoke
- Festival Hall, Petersfield
- St Peters Surgery, Southampton
- New Milton Health Centre
- Bursledon Surgery
- Colden Common Surgery
- Badger Farm Community Centre, Winchester
- Kingston Crescent Surgery, Portsmouth
- Carisbrooke Health Centre, IoW
You can find out more about the vaccination programme on the NHS website
Staying well over Christmas
Hampshire County Council has issued advice to residents to help them stay well over the festive period and to offer support to those who may be in need. Their website has advice and suggestions on shopping, medicines, staying warm and supporting others is available, as well as links and contact numbers for local services and specialist support.
South East Water
South East Water have worked with 35 charities to create a video to encourage people to sign up for the Priority Service Register. This is a service that all utility companies must provide, for people who might need a little extra support.
More information here
Customers are encouraged to register now to make sure, in the event of an unexpected water outage they can benefit from free services from South East Water, such as providing tailored support facilities, large print bills, braille bills, and password for security or delivery of bottled water. These are all free of charge.
Edition 34 – Wednesday 3 December
Covid Winter Grant Funding
Hampshire has received £2.9 million from the government’s Covid Winter Grant funding scheme to support vulnerable households between December 2020 and March 2021. They are providing a range of support under the programme name ‘Connect4Communities’.
A food voucher scheme will be available during the school Christmas holidays for the following groups:
- All families whose children are eligible for free school meals (including previously eligible 16-18 year olds);
- Children supported by a social worker;
- Children receiving help from Family Support Service;
- 2-4 year olds using childcare with Early Years Pupil Premium
Nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, schools, and colleges will distribute the vouchers. Each eligible household will get a voucher per child worth £15 per week which can be used in supermarkets.
Schools and colleges will also get a discretionary grant fund to support families who may not be immediately eligible for the voucher scheme but are struggling financially. Schools can use these grants to help families with food and other support such as paying fuel bills. For more information see the County Council’s website
Train travel over the festive period
Rail operators in the region have confirmed rail services which will be running over the Christmas and New Year period:
They advise that people check their journeys online before travelling and to follow government guidance about safe travelling.
Have you or your loved ones been affected by cancer?
Wessex voices are looking for more people to join their Patient, Carer and Public Involvement Network covering Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight. They would welcome anyone affected by cancer – whether as a patient, a family member or a carer.
There are many ways for people to get involved at times and ways that suit them.
- Share experiences or their views on cancer services and support
- Tell us what they think about cancer information
- Come to meetings about cancer projects and cancer services
- Join our Steering Group which helps to plan the work we do.
NHS urges people with mental health worries to seek help
People with mental health worries are being urged to seek help in a new phase of the NHS’s Help Us Help You campaign.
Although mental health services have been running throughout the pandemic there was a marked dip in referrals despite evidence that Covid-19 is making problems more common.
A new NHS campaign aims to encourage anyone suffering from anxiety, depression or other issues to come forward for assessment and treatment.
Click here to learn more
Wheelchair Accessible Housing in Hampshire
Karen, Sharon and Paul are the parents of 3 young disabled people who currently reside in supported living in Alton on a short-term tenancy.
They would like to create a community of flats/bungalows that are all wheelchair accessible with a small communal area. “As young independent people they should have a choice of where and what living accommodation they want just like any other young person moving away from home”.
They are looking for other parents/young people in the same situation, who would like to join their group so that they can show Hampshire County Council that there is a need for this type of accommodation.
If that is you, please contact Karen on 074974 411886 or email here
Edition 33 – Wednesday 18 November
Changes to DWP medical assessments for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC)
DWP have changed the rules on medical assessments for ESA and UC. It’s now compulsory to participate in a telephone assessment. Anyone not participating could be sanctioned or lose out on benefits. If your beneficiaries have been asked to attend a telephone assessment but find it difficult to manage over the phone, please refer them to their local Citizens Advice.
Utility Companies Priority Service Register
As part of their licence obligations, domestic energy suppliers and distribution network operators (the ones that keep the energy flowing) must offer free special services to certain customers including those of state pension age, those with a chronic illness and people who have additional communication needs. With winter coming the companies want to ensure that eligible customers are signed up to receive the available benefits and support. Water suppliers have their own register and can offer support in the event of an interruption to the domestic water supply.
Registration is simple and can be done via the various websites or through the contact numbers on utility bills.
CAP Money Kids
Money Kids is a short money and budgeting course aimed at primary school children in years 5 and 6. Children engage in a range of exercises to start learning how to be money-wise. The course meets national curriculum standards so is suitable for schools, and can also be used with youth groups, Cubs, Brownies etc. CAP encourage anyone who has links to a primary school or appropriate youth group to consider signing up to the course. More information available on the website
Olivia Inspires assists children and young people aged 11 to 18 years, who live in the New Forest District Council area and who are facing financial hardship, by making grants of money, normally no more than £500, to provide items or services to enable them to develop their potential in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts and sport.
Olivia Inspires was set up 12 months ago having been born out of tragedy. 20-year old Olivia Burt from the New Forest died in Durham, where she was a first-year student studying Natural Sciences. Olivia Inspires was founded with the aim of allowing Olivia’s spirit to live on by helping young people in the New Forest to realise their potential.
Solent NHS Trust are running a Discovery Event…
…this Friday 20th November, 12.30-3.30pm
The event aims to explore what really matters most to people who use local health services, their families and carers. The event will include individuals along with community groups, voluntary organisations and representatives of local services with an interest in improving health services.
To register for the event, please email here
Southern Health’s Recovery College…
…have now moved online
The College offers a range of resources to support people in recovery from a mental health issue, enabling individuals to live life to the full even if their condition isn’t “cured”.
Read more, download a prospectus and enrol here
Edition 31 – Wednesday 4 November
Rose Road launches online sessions for parents of children with SEN
Rose Road have recently launched online Zoom sessions aimed at parents of children with SEN, on topics such as “Home to school transport” and “What is an EHC Plan and does my child need one?”. Sessions are planned throughout the year and are being advertised via their website and social media.
Southern Water support materials
Southern Water have produced new support materials for customers who are struggling to afford their bills. The leaflets and posters provide a step-by-step guide to help customers identify which bill-reduction schemes they may be eligible for, and signpost to sources of further support. Vulnerable customers can also be added to the Priority Services Register, offering additional help for water and fuel bills.
Details are available on their website
This newsletter is aimed at individuals on the autism spectrum along with their families, carers and professionals. The newsletter aims to bring together high quality information and news on autism, and their website includes an “education and support” finder tool. Access the tool and subscribe to the newsletter on their website
Test and Trace Scams
The new NHS Covid-19 app is the only official contact tracing app for England and Wales.
Criminals may call claiming to be from Test and Trace to obtain personal information or ask for payments to send out tests.
Find out more here
Action Fraud have had an increase in reports of various email scams from seemingly trusted organisations, these could be from:
• DVLA – claiming that your vehicle is no longer taxed
• HMRC – either offering financial support as a result of covid-19 claiming that you are entitled to a tax refund
• Amazon – claiming there is an issue with your account
Do not click on any links within a suspicious email. Your bank, or other official organisation, won’t ask you to share personal information over email. If you need to check it is genuine, call them directly on a number obtained from their official website (do not follow any links to their website from the email).
You can also forward on any suspicious emails to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS)