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Shielding ends for millions

Wednesday 31 March marked the last day of shielding for almost four million of the most clinically vulnerable people in England and Wales.

Although people are no longer advised to stay at home, they are urged to continue to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe from Covid-19. Social distancing, keeping the number of social interactions low and spending little time in settings where social distancing is impossible is recommended. Everyone is advised to continue to work from home where possible, but those who cannot work from home should go back to the workplace, where employers must introduce measures to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.

The end of shielding was welcomed by some who felt a sense of freedom knowing they were able to leave home for the first time in months and that enforced isolation had come to an end. For others, there were mixed emotions. Despite falling Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions, it remains an anxious time for some in the spinal cord injury community. Many people have yet to have their second vaccination, and there are fears surrounding the stripping back of support services and financial aid.

We’re still here for you

We understand that feelings of unease and uncertainty didn’t go away overnight with the end of shielding. We, as always, remain committed to supporting the SCI community.

Here are some of the many ways in which we can help you feel safe and free to live a fulfilled life amid the ongoing pandemic and beyond:

A listening ear, trusted advice

Our advice and advocacy service can guide and support you through all aspects of life with a spinal cord injury. For practical information call our freephone Support Line on 0800 980 0501 or email Teresa, our Support Line officer, using [email protected]. This service is available to members and non-members alike.

Speak to a peer

Our Support Network provides insight into life beyond injury and practical advice on everything from managing continence and working to raising a family and being an active member of society.

Find your regional Support Network officer here https://www.spinal.co.uk/support-network-officers/

Emergency care planning

Many SCI people remain worried about the possibility of being admitted to hospital, but an Emergency Care Plan provides comfort by knowing your specific care needs will be shared with treating professionals working in general healthcare settings.

Each plan is completed by one of our SCI nurse specialists to provide clinical validation, and having one means clear and accurate communication between healthcare professionals for appropriate treatment in non-specialist settings.

Speak to our SCI nurse specialists by calling the freephone Support Line on 0800 980 0501 to find out more

For more information from the government on shielding visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shielding-advice-for-the-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-to-stop-from-april