Hubs offering holistic support to people who need to self-isolate and to those hit hardest by the pandemic are being rolled out in a pilot scheme across five areas in the north.
The Covid Support Hubs offer immediate support with lateral flow tests and help to self-isolate if necessary. They also offer longer term assistance for people who might be struggling to buy food or pay rent, to access services, manage debt, or with utility bills.
The pilot scheme is part of the country's Test Trace Protect programme, offering an extended and longer-term ‘Protect’ offer in deprived communities in the north. It brings together the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, Local Authorities, the voluntary sector and community groups to support communities in a range of areas.
This multi-partner approach means that extra support can be offered if identified, even if people test negative for Covid-19 and are not required to self-isolate, such as signposting to benefits, providing information on food banks and low-cost food services, and advice on budgeting.
The first pilot hub launched in Caergybi in May, with 59 people seen in the first nine days. Ynys Môn Citizens Advice are the lead organisation, with input from a range of partners to deliver additional support around food provision, digital skills, and access to mental health support.
The scheme is also now underway in Bangor and Dinbych, with hubs expected to open in Plas Madoc (near Wrecsam) and Sir Y Fflint later this month.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said: "I’m pleased to see that this pilot scheme is up and running in North Wales and is already delivering positive results.
“It’s vital that people self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 in order to stop the virus spreading in our communities. Test, Trace Protect has been extremely effective at supporting people who have tested positive and their contacts to isolate and providing advice, guidance and support, and it’s important that we continue to invest in initiatives like this to support people to self-isolate when needed.
“This pilot also demonstrates the benefits of a partnership approach which is reaching those who are often hard to reach and opening up a range of services to them to relieve worry and stress in other areas of their lives, providing much-needed support to people at an extremely difficult time."