The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to carry out this important study on people’s views and experiences of the official guidance and the support available for people who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19).Back to table of contents
You have the unique opportunity to tell us about your views and experience of the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and the support available. Your responses will provide us with information not available from any other sources. You will be helping the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to understand your views on the guidance and if any additional support is needed. Do not miss your chance to have your say.Back to table of contents
The study will cover a range of topics, including:
- information about you
- your views about the coronavirus (COVID-19) official guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable
- the support available to you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The questions we ask can be based on both facts and opinions. You do not need to know the guidance to take part.
There are no difficult questions, and you do not need any specialist knowledge to take part. There are no right or wrong answers – your honest responses are vital for us to produce reliable statistics.
We respect your right to a private life – the information you provide in this study will not be used to identify you in any way.Back to table of contents
Your response is extremely important to make sure your voice counts in producing reliable statistics for decision-making. For us to get an accurate picture of people’s views and experiences, we need to talk to people from all walks of life.
Taking part is voluntary. If you do not want to answer some or any of the questions, you do not have to. Please answer as many questions as you can, to ensure that your experiences and circumstances are counted.Back to table of contents
Your personal information will remain confidential.
The details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so we can produce statistics. Any data we publish will never identify you.
We do not sell on your data and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in the study.
If you want to know more, please see the section about our commitment to protecting your data.Back to table of contents
You should have received a letter inviting you to take part in the study.
An interviewer from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will contact you to carry out the interview over the phone, or to find a convenient time to do so.
We design our studies with you in mind and keep them as short as possible. We only collect the information we need to better understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Your response is really important to us.
How to get an invite if you do not receive one
Individuals are chosen at random to take part in this study and cannot be replaced with others. To ensure the study is valid, only those selected at random can take part.Back to table of contents
This study is being carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The ONS are the country’s largest producer of statistics.
- independent, unbiased and impartial: we are separate from other organisations and do not allow anything to influence the statistics we publish;
- the only organisation that produces official statistics as a primary role: we have no additional interest in the information we collect;
- only interested in society as a whole, and not you as an individual: statistics represent groups of people; we remove your personal details as we are not interested in singling you out.
We are not:
- a commercial or market research organisation: we do not work for profit and will not try to sell you anything;
- associated with any political parties: we produce official statistics, no matter who the Prime Minister or political party in government is;
- going to sell on your data under any circumstances: we value your involvement in our studies and do not profit from your data; you will not receive any “junk mail” as a result of taking part;
- monitoring you, as the data you give are only used for producing statistics: we will not use your information to contact you about other matters such as your tax, income or benefits, and we will not provide your information to anyone else for them to do so either.
Read more about what we do at the ONS.Back to table of contents
To understand people’s views about official guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, we need to talk to people like you.
You have been selected at random to take part from a list of names and addresses from the Shielded Patient List. This list was created by NHS Digital to be able to offer guidance and support to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19). ONS have been given permission to contact you to invite you to participate in the COVID High Risk Group Insights Study to ensure that government policies are informed. We will not use your contact details for any other purposes.
It is not possible to ask everyone to take part in our study; instead, we have invited a sample of individuals. We cannot ask another individual to take your place as this would affect how representative our study is.Back to table of contents
The results from this study will be used by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will also use the results to help inform the local area support response provided by Local Authorities.
The results of the study will be published on the ONS website later this year. Any data published will not identify you.Back to table of contents
How we will use the information you provide
Your personal information will remain confidential. The details you provide will be combined with those of everyone else taking part so we can produce statistics. Any data we publish will never identify you.
The ONS will use your data for statistical purposes only. Any outputs we share with our stakeholders will not be able to identify you. DHSC will receive the statistics produced from this study but will not receive any of your personal information. We will follow the Code of Practice for Statistics. All personal data will be deleted once it is no longer required to produce statistics.
We do not sell on your data, and you will not receive junk mail or marketing calls as a result of taking part in one of our studies.
The precautions for data protection and confidentiality we have taken
The ONS adheres to the Code of Practice for Statistics, the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and processes all personal information with respect, keeping it secure and confidential. Any personal data collected are processed in systems that have been accredited by the ONS, designed to uphold the security of the data and that are subject to regular assessment.
We ensure your personal information is held securely
We take our responsibilities to keep your personal information secure very seriously. As such, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft or misuse. These precautions include appropriate physical security of our offices, controlled access to computer systems, and use of secure, encrypted internet connections when collecting personal information.Back to table of contents
You can read about the commitments the Office for National Statistics (ONS) makes to those taking part in its studies in our ONS respondent charter for surveys of households and individuals.
If you have a question about how we process your personal data or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see our data protection page.
At the ONS, we take seriously our responsibility to the public. It is our policy that we will tell the appropriate authority if we believe there is a serious risk to someone’s safety.
We would appreciate your suggestions on how we can improve any of our studies. It would also be great to hear from you if you are happy with the service you have received. You can email us at Covid.Insights.Study@ons.gov.uk.Back to table of contents
For more information on the updated coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable, please visit the guidance page on the government website.
To register for support for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals, please visit the government support website.
Additionally, please contact your Local Authority if you need further assistance in following the guidance.
If you require assistance, there may be voluntary support networks and community hubs in your area that could help with medicine or food deliveries. NHS Volunteer Responders may also be able to help. You can call them for free on 0808 196 3646.
For advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health, please visit the Every Mind Matters website.
If you would need support in another language, please call for free on 0800 298 5313 to request that.
If you have any queries or concerns about the study, please phone us for free on 0800 298 5313 or email us at Covid.Insights.Study@ons.gov.uk