A new central hub has launched today, Monday 30 March, which will coordinate vital support for Manchester's most vulnerable people, to help them cope with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.
As part of the launch, Manchester City Council staff will be redeployed to a bespoke call centre in the Town Hall Extension to get help to people in the greatest need.
Initially support will be extended to:
- People over the age of 70 who are self isolating and have no support network
- People who have received a letter from the NHS advising they are at higher risk or are medically vulnerable according to government criteria
- Those who are self-isolating with no support networks (i.e. friends or family)
Help will also be available, but not limited to, other groups such as carers, care leavers or young carers.
This system is designed to be flexible. Manchester City Council will be working with partners in the communities they serve, as well as wider partners in public health to ensure that they reach the people who need us most.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown into stark light the difficulties that vulnerable people face when existing support structures are taken away. Given the immense pressure being faced by essential frontline services Manchester City Council, along with its business, voluntary and community sector partners, will do its utmost to relieve any pressure it can, and protect our residents.
The primary needs that call handlers are expected to deal with include, but are not limited to:
- Delivery of food
- Delivery of medication
- Combating loneliness
- Managing fuel top-up payments
To manage the most urgent need – that food is delivered – individual teams within Manchester’s neighbourhoods will monitor the situation in their area and ensure that supplies are delivered from a central holding area to priority households.
The service will run six days a week, Monday to Saturday, between 8.30am and 5.30pm.
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing at Manchester City Council, said: “As Manchester has shown time and time again our strength lies in our ability to bind together in times of great uncertainty. The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most stark challenges we have ever had to face as a city and we cannot shy away from the difficulties we will face.
“We will be judged on how we helped people in greatest need during this crisis and I am certain that we will not fail them. This hub will provide a vital link between people at risk, and those who are able to help them.”
The number for people to call is: 0800 234 6123