Advice to shield at home until at least 21 February has been re-issued to over 100,000 people in West Yorkshire and will be reviewed during this period should it need to be extended.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP), along with the Local Resilience Forum, West Yorkshire Prepared, will host ‘The Shielding Experts’ webinar on Wednesday 3 February, providing a valuable opportunity to listen to people about their experiences of shielding.
Attendees will hear insight from research and surveys, and importantly the personal experiences of those who shielded, including staff, to inform our health and care practice this winter and beyond. The aim is to support people who live and work across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to put the right conditions in place to enable those with the highest clinical risk to stay happy, healthy and safe.
This session is suitable for people who work across the health and care sector or anyone involved in the shielding response in local places, including the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, local NHS and council staff. Speakers include shielding experts by experience as well as Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP; Hannah Davies, CEO for Healthwatch, Leeds; John Walsh, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust; Ann-Louise Caress, University of Huddersfield; Dave Thompson, Kirklees Council, and Rachael Loftus, Head of Regional Health Partnerships.
Rob Webster said: ‘Over 100,000 people have been shielding in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Our councils and VCSE partners have been magnificent throughout the pandemic, supporting people through local partnerships, including hundreds of volunteers. This opportunity to share their experiences, which have often been hidden behind closed doors in every community, is invaluable in improving services further in the future’.
Rachael Loftus said: ‘Councils are working hard to ensure that clinically extremely vulnerable people have the right support to enable them to follow the shielding advice. We know how hard shielding is for people and we hope that our webinar will contribute to improving the quality of their care and increase understanding of the people who are making extraordinary efforts and significant sacrifices to stay safe at this time’.
Connie Cluderay, from Leeds said: ‘As a shielder, I welcome the opportunity to share my story. It’s great that people want to take part in the conversation and listen to us’.
Cllr Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board said: ‘This event will give people who have been shielding at home the opportunity to share their personal experience. The pandemic has been hard for all, and especially for people who have been isolating at home and very often alone without family and friends close by. Our communities have been fantastic, offering kindness, practical support, and compassion throughout. It’s really important to bring people together to share the overall experience and learning’.
Robin Tuddenham, Co-chair of the Local Resilience Forum and CEO for Calderdale Council said: ‘The way that partners have come together with our communities to support those shielding has been one of the really positive experiences from the pandemic. It’s a story of kindness and quiet determination, with our voluntary and community sector playing such a pivotal role. This event will provide an opportunity to listen and learn, and in particular understand the lived experience of those who have shielded, and what this tells us about how to build back a stronger health and care system in West Yorkshire.’