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 our dedicated helpline on 023 9268 8004. 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.   

Advice for very vulnerable people

The Government has issued advice for what it is calling 'extremely vulnerable' groups. 

This includes children and adults with specific conditions including:

  • those who have had organ transplants
  • those with certain types of cancers
  • those taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD​

​​On 22 June the government set out a series of steps for further relaxing shielding guidance which will come into effect on 6 July and 1 August.

You can read the advice on the Government's website.

Guidance on keeping older people and vulnerable residents safe

The NHS has suspended all visiting but is allowing one visitor - an immediate family member or carer - in certain circumstances, including if a patient is receiving end of life care.

We know that keeping in touch with loved ones in care homes is important, but to protect residents and staff, visits need to be heavily restricted. This applies to both council run and private care homes. If you think it's essential for you to visit a loved one, please call the home manager beforehand to check whether it is possible. The situation in each home can change very quickly.

We're asking people to stick to these guidelines to protect our vulnerable residents.

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.


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 look 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

Important contact numbers

  • Dedicated coronavirus support line - 023 9268 8004 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) - for the latest information about coronavirus and how it's affecting council services, and for extra help available while self-isolating
  • 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 text us 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.