‘Shielding’ Those Most at Risk in Orkney

People in Orkney who have received a letter from the NHS identifying them as being most at risk from Covid-19 will be contacted by the Orkney Coronavirus Community Support Hub from today, Wednesday 1st April.

The new Hub is at The Pickaquoy Centre.

Maureen Swannie, of Orkney Health and Care, said in the meantime if anyone who has received a letter needs further information on how to register or get help, to contact the Hub on 01856879900.

The facility opened at noon on Monday and is dealing with telephone enquiries from our most vulnerable people, providing assistance with accessing medication, food, essential household items and healthcare services.

A dedicated email address is also available at coronavirussupporthub@orkney.gov.uk.

The facility is not open to the public.

Staff and volunteers, from various agencies throughout the county – including Orkney Islands Council, Orkney Health and Care, NHS Orkney and the Third Sector have been assisting those identified by the NHS as being “clinically vulnerable”.

Those are:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients;
  • People with specific cancers;
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD;
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell);
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection;
  • People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease.

Staff and volunteers working in the Hub will be required to maintain social distancing, while an enhanced cleaning regime will be in operation at the centre for everyone’s protection.



Pickaquoy Centre 1

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  1. We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
    This group includes those who are:

    aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions) – THIS GROUP SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF THE LIST? Certainly didn’t get a letter…..
    under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
    chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    chronic kidney disease
    chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
    problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
    a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
    being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
    those who are pregnant

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