Coronavirus: council service information and advice

We are reviewing updates from government as they are published and working out what they mean for vulnerable people.

We'll publish information on this page. Please follow the government's latest advice on Gov.UK.

On this page you will find advice and support for vulnerable people in Portsmouth.

If you are in need of additional support during the coronavirus outbreak and can't find help online, please call the HIVE Portsmouth helpline on 023 9261 6709. This line is currently open from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

If you need medical help, call the NHS on 111. If it is a medical emergency, call 999.   


During the peak of the pandemic in England, people defined by the government as 'extremely vulnerable' we advised to take extra precautions. This is known as shielding.

The government is currently advising that you do not need to shield. This is because the rates of transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community have fallen significantly.

GOV.UK: Guidance for extremely vulnerable people

Care homes

We have begun to open our Council-run care homes for socially-distanced visits. If you wish to visit a loved one, please call the home and speak to the duty manager beforehand to check whether it is currently possible and run through the process, as the situation in each home can change quickly.

 We are also encouraging people visiting to follow NHS health advice to help minimise the spread of the virus, including by washing their hands when they arrive. You will be asked to wear a mask during your visit. 

If you or anyone in your household have symptoms of Covid-19 or have tested positive for the virus in the last 14 days, you must not attend.

GOV.UK: stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infection


Many carers look after people who are vulnerable, so it's particularly important to follow the Government's latest health advice .

If you are a carer and feel that you may need to forego your care duties due to any illness, now is a good time to put a contingency plan in place. It is also a good time to make cover arrangements with trusted neighbours, friends or family members.

Read Care UK's advice on creating a contingency plan or contact the carers centre for guidance.

The Carers Centre is closed to the public. Our teams are still working, but will be relying on the phone and online tools to keep in touch with carers across the city.

As we settle into this new way of working, we may take a little longer to respond than usual - so please be patient with us.

You can contact the carers centre by phone on 023 9285 1864 or by email at

GOV.UK: Guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family

Important contact numbers

  • Adult social care helpdesk - 023 9268 0810 (8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am-4.30pm Friday - outside of these hours this number will direct you to our out-of-hours service)
  • HIVE Portsmouth - 023 9261 6709 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) - for people who are in need of support, including food, medicine deliveries and welfare checks. If you struggle to get in touch with us due to a communication difficulty or a disability, you can now textus at 07860027785. Please include your name, a brief description of your support need, and whether you would like us to give you a call back or send you an email. If you prefer an email response, please also provide your email address.
  • Childline - 0800 1111 (freephone) - If you are 19 or under and have any concerns. No problem is too big or small. You can speak to a counsellor straight away
  • Domestic abuse advice and support - 023 9206 5494 (9am-9pm Monday to Friday) - Visit the Stop Domestic Abuse website. If you or someone else is in immediate danger please call the police on 999.
  • Out of hours social work - 0300 555 1373 - Supporting professionals and the public outside of normal working hours with any social care issues. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, please call 07465 205 102
  • Victim Care Service - 0808 178 1641 - Supporting victims of crime and scams. There is also a live chat service on the Victim Care Service's website.

For medical advice please call the NHS helpline 111 and for medical emergencies 999. 

Food for homeless people

You can find information about where homeless people can get food on our 'Getting help and volunteering' page.

Health and wellbeing advice

Our advice for residents page has more information about health and wellbeing.