Corona virus

Coronavirus district support update

Somerset County Council

A new single telephone number 0300 790 6275 is now available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus-related support from their councils. The number will make it easier for people to access any local authority help they may need, in the current crisis.

  • personal care and support including food delivery
  • delivery of prescriptions
  • support for the homeless
  • emotional support if you’re feeling worried or anxious
  • transport to medical appointments
  • waste collection and disposal
  • financial support

It links together and is operated by the district and county council contact centres and will be operating seven days a week, 8am to 6pm, making it the one number you need to remember for Coronavirus-related enquiries. The district and county councils usual phone numbers SCC 0300 123 2224 Somerset West and Taunton 0300 304 8000  are running as normal alongside the new number for non-Coronavirus related issues. The new number won’t cover medical advice, for which people will need to continue to use the 111 NHS online service and only ring 111 if they cannot get help online, but anyone who can’t find help within their own local networks and volunteers, can use the new number to get help and advice.

A multi agency group has been established, to co-ordinate the provision of sustainable support for our communities over the weeks to come. For example food supplies, and how to resource our own supplies, the five councils in Somerset are creating one data list of the most vulnerable people in Somerset by co-ordinating our respective data across councils and health to try to ensure we have captured everyone.

If people are interested in volunteering for example helping people out with shopping or picking up prescriptions they can go online to Coronahelpers to register.

Avon and Somerset Police

Encouraging news! Demand for our services has remained manageable with the vast majority of people abiding by the restrictions. In fact, we’ve seen a significant reduction in many crime types, some of which have fallen by as much as 40 per cent sickness levels on the force are below 10 per cent, and numbers will be further strengthened with 59 new PC’s and 32 PCSO’s joining the force, as well as the extra voluntary efforts of Special Constables.

Recently, the Govt implemented the Coronovirus Act, which gives Police additional powers. I have emphasised the need to engage, explain and encourage compliance, before enforcement. In exception cases, this has enabled other crimes to be dealt with, including a county lines issue. An on-line form has been issued for people to report breaches. We are aware that other forces across the country are interpreting the new Act differently, but inevitably, response will take some time to standardise and bed-in.

From Chief Constable Avon and Somerset Police


We have been delighted and overcome by the love of the people of Somerset for our NHS Staff our social care colleagues and all key workers at this challenging time. NHS Leaders also praise the response of the vast majority of local people to the pandemic. Thank you for protecting the NHS, staying at home, washing your hands, and saving lives.

The CEO of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group praised the joint working arrangements with SCC, the 4 District Councils, Avon and Somerset Police and all the valued Voluntary organisations which have stepped up.

Special thanks to teachers and care workers who by continuing to work, are enabling our staff to continue giving their care to others.

Visiting restrictions in hospitals

No hospital visiting is permitted during the outbreak, apart from these exceptions:

  • patients receiving end of life care
  • patients on children’s wards and neonatal units
  • patients with specific conditions eg dementia or learning disability

All non-urgent elective operations have been cancelled, however emergency surgery will continue, and urgent cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal, wherever this is possible.

GP services

As a precaution, to protect patients, staff and the public, GP appointments across the county will be triaged, either online or on the phone, to make sure that patients are cared for by the right person in the right place for their illness. Surgery doors will, as far as practicable, be open, to allow face to face consultations.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID 19) will be a mild infection. If you have symptoms, please stay at home for 7 days from the date the symptoms (either high temperature or continuous cough) began. Other people in the home should isolate for 14 days. This will protect others.

Looking after mental health

  • take one period of exercise each day. Preferably in the open air
  • communicate with as many friends and family as possible using phone or new technology
  • try taking up a new or refreshing an old hobby
  • listen to your preferred choice of music
  • if you need the Somerset Mindline the number is 01823 276892 available every day of the week