Times Ten Together

During COVID-19 many local charities are supporting the NHS and local authorities to ensure people who are shielding receive the support they need. Suffolk User Forum is working with Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist Two Rivers Medical Centre and Felixstowe Road Medical Practice with their support to people who are shielding because of their health condition and some people who need help for other reasons.

Two Rivers Medical Centre and Felixstowe Road Medical Practice will be writing to you, if you are on their shielded patient list to let you know that one of our friendly team will be contacting you by telephone. 

Our team will call you on behalf of your GP, to see how you are and to ask whether you have the support you need. We will also ask about your medications as your GP wants to make ensure you are receiving these.  

We can arrange regular weekly telephone calls for additional support if you would like us to check in more regularly with you, especially if you are feeling more isolated at this time. We will talk about this when we call you.

Frequently asked questions – Times Ten Together:

What happens when you call me?

When our staff call you, they will say their name and confirm they are calling from Suffolk User Forum.

All our staff are following Government Guidelines and are now working from home using mobile telephones.

We know that everyone must be mindful of scams and to give you confidence, the phone number they are calling from will register on your phone. If you do not answer they will leave a message, saying their name and confirming they have called on behalf of your GP.

If you are uncertain and want to check this is correct, please call our office number on 01473 907087 and leave a message. We will call you back and answer any questions you may have.

What will you talk to me about?

When we speak to you, we will ask you to confirm some details, for example your name and date of birth, to make sure we are talking to the right person. However, we will never ask you any questions about your national insurance number or bank details.

Your GP wishes to check on your wellbeing and to make sure you have the information and support your need during shielding. We will talk through;

  • how things are going for you day to day whilst you are shielding and whether you have any questions, we can help you with.
  • check in with you about your ongoing care and treatment
  • ask you about your medication and confirm you have arrangements in place for medication delivery
  • check that you are aware of the Government support offer for food and medicines delivery.
  • ask you if you are also caring for another family member in your household
  • ask you if there is a person in your house hold who cares for you and if they need any support


If you would like more regular support from us, we can offer weekly telephone calls during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is called Times Ten Together.

What is the Government Support Offer?

Everyone who has received a letter advising that they are clinically extremely vulnerable and that should shield, have been asked to register online if they need any extra support, for example, essential groceries delivered to their home. The Government has asked people to register even if they do not need support right now, and if they have received a letter from the NHS. If you have not yet registered you can register here.

The NHS is also providing further support to patients at risk via the Goodsam App and NHS Volunteer Responders.

What is the GoodSAM Alerter App?

The AppGoodSAM is a community of Good Samaritans, happy to assist if they are the closest person to an emergency. Many are off duty doctors, nurses, paramedics and other members of the emergency services. They are trained in first aid and may have additional skills. GoodSAM Alerter connects those in need with those in the local community with lifesaving skills to help until the emergency services arrive. By alerting first aid trained bystanders to local incidents, GoodSAM aims to prevent the irreparable brain and heart damage which frequently occurs during a cardiac arrest or traumatic incident.

The GoodSAM Alerter it is available for download on Android, iOS and Windows phone’s. Once downloaded just follow the simple registration process.

What is Times Ten Together?

Times Ten Together is weekly telephone support for people who are more isolated or who are finding things difficult right now.

It is a weekly check in and catch up call. You can chat through how things are going for you, any worries you have. We can help you to find the information you need, offer friendly support, including help with self-care tips and general daily planning on how to break up the day.

You can discuss this support, when we call you and we can arrange together which days would be most helpful for us to call. We usually arrange calls between Monday to Thursday between 10:00 am and 15:00 pm, with essential calls only service on bank holidays from 12:00 pm and 14:00 pm.

What healthcare experience do Suffolk User Forum staff have?

Our staff have a range of professional qualifications and experience in health and social care, including occupational therapy, supported housing management, mental health constabulary coordination; PALS, advocacy, RMN, RGN, substance misuse and mental health GP link worker skills.

How will you use or share my personal information?

The data collected about you for support (including your name, address, date of birth, contact details, information about your wellbeing and mental health, your GP’s contact details, diversity monitoring) are all held securely on the SUF data base in accordance with GDPR.

The information is used to contact you and to deliver support. Records are maintained of the support given, to ensure compliance with risk management and recording requirements. This information is held securely and is kept confidential in line with this privacy notice.

For those people receiving support on behalf of Two Rivers Medical Centre and Felixstowe Road Medical Practice, as we are delivering the support on behalf of your GP, we are required to inform your GP on a regular basis that you are receiving this support role, and to provide summary information to your GP, as they retain a duty of care for your physical and mental health.

Anonymised statistical information from all support during COVID-19 may be published to provide accountability and information about these services to commissioners, for accountability, monitoring and review processes. No personal information will be shared in these anonymous reports and your identity will be keep confidential, unless you have explicitly given permission and consent to sharing your information, for example a quotation about the quality of the service you have received.

To deliver support we will process the following information.

  1. Name, address date of birth – this enable us to confirm identity and to comply with commissioners’ requirements, and our duty to update your GP on a monthly basis. We only share personal information with your GP, where it is lawful to do so and in accordance with our data protection policy.
  2. Diversity monitoring. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity, both in carrying out our charitable functions and as an employer. We use this information anonymously to measure our performance and share anonymised information and findings in reports, to ensure our charitable objectives are provided in a way that avoids discrimination, is inclusive and made available in such a way as to meet individual needs.
  3. Email address – By sharing your email address with us, we will not add you to our mailing list or contact you for any other purpose than to share information about local and national sources of support appropriate to your peer support needs and requests.
  4. A telephone number – Your telephone number will be used only in connection with your support needs and not for any other purpose. We might contact you with further suggestions or to clarify details about why you are contacting our service.
  5. A summary record of our telephone contacts, including the agreed frequency of contacts, dates and length of call; a summary record of support given, and self-care tips provided, goals and any concerns identified, for example about your welfare or mental health. We record this information to assist our staff in providing you with relevant information and to check that we have not missed opportunities to suggest possible sources of support.
  6. A record of which virtual support options we signpost you to (names of organisations and groups) – This information is recorded in order that we can demonstrate the breadth of signposting delivered by our service to our commissioner and also to the public to which we are accountable.

Please note: If we have a welfare or safeguarding concern about you or another person, we will wherever possible discuss this with you, so we can plan together how we can support you to be safe. However, in exceptional circumstances, we may need to take immediate steps to safeguard you or others from harm in accordance with our safeguarding policies (available on request). We will not share your personal information with other bodies unless we feel it is necessary to protect your vital interests or the interests of another person. This might include information sharing with your GP, the Suffolk Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if we believe you or someone else may be at risk of abuse or harm.

Our full privacy statement can be read here.

How can I raise concerns or complain about the support given by Suffolk User Forum?

Suffolk User Forum and the SUF staff team try very hard to get things right but we understand that we are human and may say or do something that could have been done better. If this happens, we need to hear from you so that we have a chance to understand, to learn and to put things right. So, if at any time you feel unhappy about our work or support please do contact us so we can talk things through. We can then resolve things quickly.

The quickest way to raise any concern or issue is to call us and speak to us by telephoning our office on this telephone number: 01473 907087 or by emailing us at hello@suffolkuserforum.co.uk

You can write to us using the following address:

The New Hollies
Unit 3
Grange Business Centre
Kesgrave, Ipswich
Suffolk, IP5 2BY

You can read our full complaints procedure here.