Gransnet forums


Online shopping for those who are shielding

(39 Posts)
ZadieGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 17-Feb-21 18:14:10

Hi everyone,

Following the news that 1.7 million people have been added to the shielding list, we're updating our 'How do I register as a vulnerable customer?' page, to ensure we can be as helpful as possible to those who have just been told to shield for the first time, which is where we'd really appreciate your help. flowers

If you've been shielding, how have you found registering for priority online shopping slots? Has it been an easy process? Are there supermarkets you've found it easier to get order slots with? Have you been able to get regular slots when you need them?

Please let us know your experiences on this thread - TIA! smile

Marydoll Wed 17-Feb-21 20:00:39

I have been shielding for a year now and despite being registered with the Scottish Shielding Service, it was initially difficult to get online home delivery slots.
I now have a weekly slot.

However, what was very well organised was the the local Autority list of shielders. As soon as I registered with the Sheilding service, I received a phone call from my LA, asking if I needed help with shopping, prescriptions or anything else. They had a list of volunteers willing to shop for others.
The also offered a weekly box of essentials, delivered to your door.
The phone number for help from LAs is 0800 111 4000 to speak to someone from your local authority.

The best two sites for ease of securing online deliveries, I found were Tesco and Iceland. If you phone Tesco customer services 0800 505555 and explain that you are shielding, they go out of there way to try and accomodate you. It takes 24 hours for your account to be activated.
Later on Morrisons came up to speed, but Sainsbury's weren't very helpful at all.

Alexa Wed 17-Feb-21 21:54:37

Would I need to get a line from the doctor to classify me as clinically vulnerable?

Marydoll Wed 17-Feb-21 22:41:21

Alexa, you need to be registered as CEV and be on the Govt database for shielding. Your GP or Consultant would have alerted them. You would know this if you had received a shielding letter.
These details are then passed onto the supermarkets by the government.

However, when I asked the LA official what happens to people who are not officially shielding, he said they were worried about people like that, slipping through the net and they should contact the helpline.

I'm am speaking from my experience of the Scottish system, but I would imagine all nations work in a similar way.

growstuff Wed 17-Feb-21 23:38:40

The Shielded Patients List is compiled mainly from details on GP and hospital records.

The list has been shared with the following:

The NHS Shielded Patient List will be disseminated by NHS Digital to recipients under data sharing terms of release which will set out the agreed purposes for which the data is to be used, commitments to secure handling and management of the list, and the scope of onward dissemination.

Organisations receiving the list

The following organisations are receiving the list:

The Cabinet Office
The Cabinet Office receive the list for the purpose of delivering the government's extremely vulnerable persons service which will provide additional support to clinically extremely vulnerable people and the local authorities affected by future lockdowns.

Local authorities
Local authorities receive the list for the purpose of understanding and identifying clinically extremely vulnerable people to provide targeted support before, during, and following local outbreaks, offering help, social care and support in coordination with other relevant organisations as part of the local COVID-19 response.

NHS clinical commissioning groups
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) receive the list for the purpose of providing GP practices with support, and patients in their CCG area with support and care.

Capita receive the list for the purpose of distributing letters to shielded patients, on behalf of NHS England as their data processor.

NHS Business Services Authority
The NHS Business Services Authority receive the list for the purpose of sending text messages to shielded patients, on behalf of DHSC as their data processor.

NHS Business Service Authority also operate the Prescription Payment Verification assurance function and following direction by NHS England, includes those functions for shielded patient pharmacy post payment verification. This is to ensure that the prescription delivery services provided to clinically extremely vulnerable patients who have been shielding and require prescription delivery support are operating effectively, and to ensure that public funds assigned for COVID-19 services to patients are being managed appropriately.

On behalf of DHSC and NHS England, NHS Digital’s data processor Gov.Notify, receive the list for the purpose of sending letters, emails and text messages to shielded patients.

Emails are being used in addition to letters to ensure where patients have an email address registered with the NHS, they receive timely information on their risk status, shielding policy, advice and guidance.

NHS England/NHS Improvement and TPP
NHS England/NHS Improvement and TPP receive the list for the purpose of identifying patients on the shielded patients list who are currently in prison and who need advice, support, and care.

Hospitals and GP practices
For the purpose of protecting patients in their care.

NHS England
Data is disseminated to NHS England and NHS Improvement for the purposes of strategic commissioning. Data is pseudonymised and held on the NHS England data warehouse (NCDR). The NHS COVID‑19 Reference Library describes the datasets being used in the NHS COVID‑19 Data Store, and the sources of those datasets.

Data is also disseminated to NHS England and Improvement for the purposes of providing an SPL feed into the COVID-19 vaccination programme (using National Immunisation Management System (NIMS)). This supports the Joint Commission for Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) who identified that patients who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable should be offered a priority vaccination.

National Services Scotland
National Services Scotland are responsible for the Scottish Shielded Patient List. The purpose of sharing this information is so that NSS can contact the English patients to provide them with details of support they can obtain locally from Scottish local authorities where they are resident, including food parcels.

NHS Wales Informatics Service
NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) are responsible for the Welsh Shielded Patient List. The purpose of sharing this information is so that NWIS can contact the English patients to provide them with details of support they can obtain locally from Welsh Local Authorities where they are resident, including food parcels.

Redbridge CCG
Redbridge CCG are responsible for the 111 call handling systems for London. The purpose of sharing this information is to support an NHS England pilot programme, so that patients on the Shielded Patient List who call 111 and require referral to an emergency department will now be flagged as being on the Shielded Patient List - enabling clinicians to make appropriate care arrangements.

Mental health providers
Mental health providers are responsible for mental health services commissioned by CCG’s. The purpose of sharing this information is to support an NHS England policy, so that patients on the Shielded Patients List who are in receipt of mental health services from the provider can be proactively contacted and have their care plans reviewed. This is because shielding is an extreme course of action likely to have had significant impact on the shielding individual’s mental health.

Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
Data is disseminated to the DHSC’s service provider, Paragon, for the purposes of supplying those clinically extremely vulnerable people who have registered for a free Vitamin D supplement via the Get Vitamin D Supplements service.

Supermarkets do not receive the NHS Shielded Patient List. When patients register with the government’s extremely vulnerable persons service they can request support for food deliveries. It is this information that flows to the supermarkets or food distributors. For further information, see the privacy statement for the government service.

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 00:51:13

Growstuff, as someone who has been shielding since March, 2020 I have a fair idea of what has worked and not worked. I am speaking from my own personal experience.
When I initially registered with the Scottish Shielding alert service, I tried to organise online supermarket shopping slots, but was told they they were still waiting for the lists of shielders from the Scottish Government to allow this to happen. Was someone telling me porkies?

A few days later, I was able to do so, without any problem. However, I had to wait for twenty four hours for them to confirm that I was eligible.
Sainsburys was the only supermarket who would not allow me to do so, because I had never shopped online with them. One year later, I still can't get priority slots with them, despite having shopped in their stores before shielding.

I notice you are quoting NHS England. As I said, I live in Scotland, as do many others on here.
I also am familiar with GDPR regulations and confidentiality, so I apologise if I gave the impression that NHS SCOTLAND, were giving out confidential information willy, nilly. Perhaps I did not explain myself clearly,
Supermarkets need confirmation you are shielding before they will issue priority slots.
I know, because I have had slots with most of the main supermarkets.
Your post which came right after mine gives the impression that you are shouting at me. I hope I am mistaken. sad

growstuff Thu 18-Feb-21 01:46:58

Marydoll I wasn't disputing anything you wrote, so I'm really sorry if you thought that.

I posted the information in my previous post because somebody queried who holds information and what is done with it and you wrote yourself that you weren't sure what happens in England. Supermarkets aren't informed directly of the people needing priority slots.

I know that some people have had difficulties getting priority slots and the system was somewhat chaotic, certainly at the beginning.

I was lucky because I was already a Tesco priority customer, which means that I have early access to some slots. I can book four weeks in advance, whereas others only have three weeks on their screens and they're booked very quickly. That was nothing to do with being on any NHS list. I've told one of my neighbours when my deliveries are due and said she can add some items to my list if she wants.

growstuff Thu 18-Feb-21 01:49:56

Correction - supermarkets aren't given the complete list, as some organisations are, but confirmation is provided that people are on the shielding list.

I honestly wasn't shouting at you! flowers

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 07:17:25

Growstuff, thank you! flowers I am a little sensitive blush just now, things have not been easy recently.

It must have been a terrible shock to find one is now shielding after all this time and not realising it. Being asked to shield is not pleasant, even if you were expecting it. For me, it wasn't the shielding, but the implications of being critically extremely vulnerable and the consequences of catching Covid.

What I do want to emphasis is that the dedicated team in the local authority, (use the phone number I provided) are there to support those who need help with shopping, medication collection etc. They phoned me a few times to check if I needed help, despite em telling them I had family and very kind friends, keen to support me.

growstuff Thu 18-Feb-21 07:41:00

No problem Marydoll. It really must be a horrible time to have health problems on top of everything else.

For the record, I haven't been told to shield and I'm fairly sure I won't be. According to the algorithm, I'm in the most vulnerable 12% and it's only the most vulnerable 4-6% (not sure - each article has a different figure) who have been advised to shield.

I have effectively been shielding anyway, but that's been partly my choice and I've been fortunate that I haven't had to go to work. My family don't live close, so I don't see them that often anyway and we keep in touch (probably more frequently than normal) via social media.

I see the latest list as protecting people and actually providing support to those who need it. IMO it hasn't gone far enough and there should be more support (financial and otherwise) for people who have been told to self-isolate because so many can't afford to.

Megs36 Thu 18-Feb-21 10:39:55

My husband has been shielded since the beginning and now date extended to end of March ,letter yesterday, and in all that time no priority slots offered anywhere till halfway through December so we’ve just got on with ordering and been patient waiting for available slots to ‘appear’.

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 10:52:03

Megs, did you phone customer services supermarkets to explain your difficulty and make sure you were registered as vulnerable. That's what I did and it was sorted within twenty four hours? I have had slots every week for the past year.

Alexa Thu 18-Feb-21 11:35:33

Thanks to Marydoll and Growstuff for the info.
Despite complete inability to go shopping I manage with online shopping without official shielding privilege.
I cannot be bothered to go to the doctor as I know my heart condition is irreversible.

Sainsbury has more home delivery slots than Tesco. In any case I have to plan , shop, and pay two weeks ahead for my grocery shopping. This is okay as Tesco and Sainsbury let you amend your order until the day before the stuff is picked.

Alexa Thu 18-Feb-21 11:39:20

PS for online grocery deliveries. If I may mention it, shopping trolleys placed outside the door are beneficial. The driver empties stuff directly into the trolleys, and their big wheels allow easy pull over the threshold and through to the kitchen.

If it is raining the trolleys have covers that keeps stuff fairy dry.

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 11:49:58

Alexa, my heart condition is irreversible too, but with the support of my GP, I try to minimise the symptoms. It doesn't always work, but I have no intention of leaving just yet, no matter how awful things can be! ?

Alexa Thu 18-Feb-21 12:05:27

Thanks |Marydoll. I did go to the doc a few years ago, who prescribed water pills for the oedema. I did not take any. I guessed there is nothing they can do to stop me deteriorating.

However my blood pressure is very low (104 systolic) and I think I will try to get a phone appointment with a doc regarding stopping my BP pill.

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 12:25:31

You never know * Alexa*, you might feel a wee bit better. ?

Lexisgranny Thu 18-Feb-21 13:01:06

For those whose orders are generally large, my Dh and I have a system. We have two small tables by the door with a large empty plastic box on one. The driver then places the supermarket crate on the adjacent table and my husband fills the empty box to a manageable weight and transfers it to the kitchen table. Meanwhile I place a further empty box on the table by the door (if necessary, adding any items remaining) then I go back to the kitchen to empty the first one, then we repeat until all the crates are empty.

I know this sounds a bit complicated, and it does need two people - the first time we got in each other’s way all the time, but now (we started in March last year) we have it down to a fine art, and the drivers appreciate the speed of the process.

I have been sheltered since last March, and initially it was quite difficult to get slots but once the sheltered system got underway everything worked well. We do not go in any shops, so our supermarket order is always quite large.

We have been really lucky with our deliveries and have only had missing items from our weekly order twice, and occasional substituted items have been quite acceptable.

Lexisgranny Thu 18-Feb-21 13:02:51

Ps should have added that the whole process was thought out so that neither of us would have to bend or stretch, and obviously not carry excessive weights.

Marydoll Thu 18-Feb-21 13:08:11

It's a bit similar to our system, Lexisgranny!

NfkDumpling Thu 18-Feb-21 18:20:27

We have a similar system too Lexisgranny. Except we use two washing baskets and chairs!

DH was on the Shielding List from the onset, but Sainsburys (our usual Big Shop store) insisted he wasn't. Tesco though found his name no problem and couldn't have been nicer.

I go on line to book three weeks ahead, bung random stuff in my basket and then change it a day or so before delivery.

With all the new people coming into the system slots may be in short supply again for a while. I have learnt that Tesco generally puts new slots on the system at midnight with a queueing system opening ten minutes beforehand. Staying up hasn't been necessary for months but I don't know if the supermarkets were pre-warned of the changes.

M0nica Thu 18-Feb-21 19:02:16

Remember, GP lists are not infallible. There was the story today of a fit healthy man in his 30s getting the letter telling him to shield. It turned out that his height was incorrectly registered as 6.2 cms insead of 6ft 2. More tragically a woman was registered as having Downs Syndrome, when it referred to a test taken when she was pregnant.

So if you think you should be shielded, but haven't had a letter have a word with your GP. Key information maybe missing from your medical record or incorrectly recorded.

Alexa Fri 19-Feb-21 08:52:15

MOnica, I am sure you are right. I accidentally discovered an error in mine.

Marydoll Fri 19-Feb-21 09:07:54

I have a question for English posters. Are you able to view your patient records through Patient Access?
How do you know there are errors on your record?

muse Fri 19-Feb-21 10:52:25

Marydoll I can access my records but all that is listed is the type of vaccine I've had and repeat prescriptions, + telephone numbers.

I've quite a history of illnesses etc. but they are not there.