This page includes key COVID information and links to further sources of support in Leeds and nationally. If you have any concerns, questions or worries, please get in touch.

The Carers Partnership in Leeds updates COVID-related guidance for carers which is available here.

The Carers Partnership bulletin has been produced to provide carers and the organisations who support them, with helpful information during the Covid19 crisis. Key topics include:

  • News and guidance – Information from the UK Government, Leeds City Council, and Carers UK
  • Carer health and wellbeing – Information on flu jabs, visiting your GP, getting social care support, and online health and wellbeing sessions.
  • Carer support available in Leeds – Information and contact details for specialist carer support in Leeds
  • Family, work, and home – Information about balancing paid work and caring, making a contingency plan and if the person your care for is in hospital.
  • Digital tools for carers – Information about different digital resources including Apps, videos, e-learning and online guides, which are available free of charge for carers in Leeds.

Leeds City Council guidance can be found here.

Check what help and support is available for residents in Leeds and find out how to get it.

Government advice for carers can be found here.

Although we are living with certain restrictions, people are allowed to leave home for exercise, medical reasons, to buy food and other essential shopping, and to provide care for vulnerable people. Government guidance for carers includes:

  • What you should be doing to prepare
  • Protecting yourself and the person you care for
  • Caring for someone who is ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’
  • If you are concerned about paid carers coming in and out of the home and the risk of infection
  • If the person you care for is in a care home
  • Accessing alternative care quickly if you cannot provide care
  • If you need time off work to care for a relative who has symptoms or is self-isolating
Please also look at the most recent details on restrictions and all the latest general guidance on things like keeping yourself safe, social distancing, face coverings etc. here.

I am a carer

Some people are worried about having to prove they are a carer during the pandemic in order to travel and demonstrate they are exempt to certain rules. During this period of restrictions on normal social activity, carers need to leave their home on a regular basis for a variety of reasons including:

  • Administering medication
  • Shopping for essential supplies
  • Helping with their personal care
  • Cooking and cleaning
  • Support with paying bills

Whilst out of your home performing essential caring responsibilities, we recommend that you carry with you evidence to identify you as an unpaid carer. This could include:

  1. Letter dated 27 March 2020 sent to all carers known to Leeds City Council and Carers Leeds
  2. A DWP Carers Allowance entitlement letter
  3. A copy of a shielding letter sent by NHS to the person you care for

If you do not have any of the above documents to identify you as an unpaid carer, we have an official letter for our registered carers (living in Leeds). Contact the Carers Advice Line on 0113 380 4300 for more information.

(NB, we are a charity supporting Leeds carers, and so we can only provide this for you if you are registered with us and live in Leeds. If you live elsewhere, please try your local carer support centre.)

Frequently asked questions

Carers can now book a vaccine appointment if either:

  • you get a Carer’s Allowance or other support following an assessment by your local authority
  • your GP record shows you are a carer

You can book your Covid-19 Vaccine appointment directly using the National Booking System. You can do this online at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/  Or call 119 to speak to an operator. 

Carers over the age of 18 years and not in receipt of Carers Allowance.
If you do not fall within the categories above, you are invited to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment directly with Carers Leeds. Please register your details online at:  www.carersleeds.org.uk/sign-up/  and information will be sent to you directly via email within 3 working days. 

Please note, we support carers who are registered with a GP in Leeds. For support in other local areas, please contact your local carer support organisation.

  • Bradford – 01274 449 660
  • Ilkley – 01274 449 660
  • Kirklees – 0300 012 0231
  • Tadcaster – 01423 500 555
  • Wakefield – 01924 305 544

Carers aged 16yrs and 17yrs of age 
Please contact the Advice Line on 0113 380 4300. At present, only the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine is authorised for use in those aged under 18 years old. Therefore please do not complete the online registration form as we need to discuss your appointment details.

Informing your GP 
Your NHS Patient Record can identify you as a carer – and it is these records that are used to coordinate both the COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccination programmes. If you haven’t already let your GP Practice know that you care for someone who cannot manage without your help, by registering with Carers Leeds we’ll let your GP know that you are a carer. 

COVID-19 vaccine scams
Please remember the COVID-19 vaccine will always be available free of charge and the NHS will never ask you to share bank details to confirm your identity.

Click here for general information about the vaccine.

Carers are also encouraged to speak to their GP or pharmacy to get a free flu vaccination.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable – people in the shielding group

The government has recently written to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable (previously advised to shield), outlining specific advice for staying safe whilst Covid-19 transmissions rates are high. Leeds City Council has followed this up with a letter explaining what support is in place locally to help CEV people follow their advice.

In addition to the rules you and our community must follow at Tier 3 level, you can take additional precautions to protect yourself. Government guidance advises:

  • Continue to maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
  • Try to keep the number of social interactions that you have low.
  • Continue to observe strict social distancing with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
  • Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in settings (such as shops) where you are unable to maintain social distancing.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to help support those who need it. Volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information.

Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus.

All pupils and students should continue to attend education settings at all local tiers, unless advised by their GP or clinician not to attend an education setting.

Children and young people whose parents or carers are clinically extremely vulnerable can also continue to go to school.

Whatever tier your local area is in, it is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well.

You should continue to seek support from the NHS for your existing health conditions.

Any carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required.

If your carer is a paid carer visiting you in your home, they will find information on the provision of home care and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the provision of home care guidance and PPE for care workers delivering homecare guidance. If you receive unpaid care, your carer should refer to the Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family.

Clinically Vulnerable – people with long term conditions or who are over 60

We are an Age Proud city and people aged 60 and above continue to make a valuable contribution to life in Leeds but being over 60 also raises your risk of falling severely ill from COVID-19.

We want to help you stay connected and active while reducing your risk of catching COVID-19 by reducing physical contact as much as possible.

If you are still working, there are precautions you can take and your employer could help you reduce your risk. If you’re self-employed you need to consider the risks of taking on jobs that bring you in close contact with people especially if working indoors.

Planning your leisure time including when you leave the house around quieter times of the day, will mean you can reduce your risks of being in close physical contact with others

For more information you can look at the web page: www.leeds.gov.uk/shielding or call 0113 376 0330 if you think you need practical help to follow the advice from government.

Receiving visitors is an important part of care home life. Maintaining some opportunities for visiting to take place is critical for supporting the health and wellbeing of residents and their relationships with friends and family.

This guidance sets out measures that can be put in place to provide COVID-secure opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.

Care home providers, families and local professionals should work together to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to social care staff and vulnerable residents as we enter national restrictions.

National guidance is under continual review and is published and updated here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/visiting-care-homes-during-coronavirus/

Click here to view letter from Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council guidance in Supporting Residents Wellbeing during Coronavirus can be found here https://www.leeds.gov.uk/care-quality-team/wellbeing and includes:

  • Practical Guidance and Advice
  • The Importance of Visiting
  • Communication between provider and families
  • Communication between families and residents
  • Visiting at a distance (externally)
  • Visiting in person
  • Meaningful activity during COVID

Yes. Leeds City Council is working with the Department of Health and Social Care, and in partnership with Carers Leeds to offer free personal protective equipment (PPE) to unpaid carers living in Leeds.

To apply for equipment including gloves, face protection and hand sanitizer, find out more information here (PPE page) and complete an online order form. Once the order form has been received, you will be contacted by Leeds City Council to discuss your order. Delivery will then be within 72 hours.

If you need help to complete the form, contact the Carers Advice Line on 0113 380 4300.

Caring for another person can be fulfilling, exciting, enjoyable, but also tiring and stressful. Taking a break from your responsibilities is important so you can recharge and look after your health.

Breaks can take many different forms. You could take half an hour out of your daily routine to read your favourite book, see a friend, exercise or whatever makes you feel good!

If you’d like some help to take a break, call our advice line on 0113 380 4300 for support and practical tips on how you can get some time away from your caring role.

If your finances are preventing you from taking a break, you can apply to the time for carers grant scheme which is detailed here.

Priority for deliveries

If you were registered for priority delivery under previous lockdown restrictions, that remains the same. To update your details or to newly register yourself, or a relative, go the government website here. You can also register here for other help with food, prescriptions or someone to talk to.

 Volunteer shopping cards

Volunteer shopping cards enable you to purchase a shopping voucher for a set amount and have that sent directly to the friend, family member or volunteer who is doing your shopping for you, without having to exchange cash.

Each store has slightly different ways to top up or to reclaim any balance left on cards. These are the major stores using a volunteer shopping card:

Supermarkets – Priority support for people who “Clinically Extremely Vulnerable”

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable: If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. Under previous restrictions (Lockdown March 2020) those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable were advised to shield.

Asda – Asda customers who have registered are offered a “priority pass” which entitles you to free, recurring delivery slots; or priority access to one off delivery slots. Asda Killingbeck and Asda Middleton offer a Click and Collect Service

Iceland – Iceland is offering exclusive times for people who are registered nationally to book a priority delivery slot. You must also be registered as customer on their website.

Morrisons – Morrisons use Amazon for home deliveries and is unable to provide priority access to delivery slots but has expanded the total number of slots available to accommodate increased demand.
Morrisons Doorstep delivery service is a telesales shopping service. Call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 to place your order. You must live within 10 miles of a Morrisons store.

Sainsbury’s – Sainsbury’s offers priority access to online home deliveries for shielding customers. You must also be registered as customer on their website. Sainsbury’s offer priority access to Click and Collect for shielding customers and telephone access to priority slots. Access by calling Sainsbury’s Care Line on 0800 636 262 or 0800 953 4988.

Tesco – Tesco offers priority access to online home deliveries for shielding customers. You must also be registered as customer on their website. Tesco currently has Click and Collect in Roundhay Road; The Avenue (LS17); Bramley and Cookridge stores.

Waitrose – Waitrose offers priority access to online home deliveries for shielding customers. You must also be registered as customer on their website.

If you, without payment, provide help and support to a parent, partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your help. This could be due to age, physical or mental health issues, substance misuse or disability. You are a carer.

  1. Acknowledge you ARE a carer – it’s a first step that opens up doors to help.
  2. Tell your GP you’re a carer – Your role will be recorded on your notes, you’ll get flexible appointments/text reminders and other help, like free flu jabs.
  3. Register with us. We can provide a whole range of support. Importantly we can tell you what help you’re entitled to, depending on your circumstances (such as benefits, or the right to a Carers Assessment). There’s more explanation of the full range of support available to carers from Leeds City Council, plus more on from the NHS.
  4. Think about coming along to one of our events, workshops and support groups these activities can really help you
  5. It’s so important to take care of you. Yes, it’s hard to find time, but try to look after your health, your emotions, your social life and hobbies. The better you feel, the better you can take care of others.

Produced in collaboration with the council’s Public Health team, Active Leeds and Get Set Leeds, the Keeping Well at Home booklet is a one-stop shop for staying healthy without leaving your front door. Complete with ways to keep your mind well, falls prevention advice and simple exercises that only require a chair or a wall, it is certainly worth a read this winter!

Download your copy here or alternatively contact our advice line on 0113 380 4300 to receive a copy in the post.