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Holding the government to account on behalf of the ‘extremely vulnerable’

As part of its response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Government identified individuals who are ‘extremely vulnerable’ – that is, those at ‘very high risk of severe illness’ from the virus.

Up to 1.5 million people, classified as such, should have received a letter from the NHS to inform them that they should stay at home and self-isolate for at least 12 weeks.

Given the extreme demand for online grocery deliveries across the country, the Government has now provided supermarkets with the list of the most vulnerable individuals, so that priority slots can be offered, following an initial delay due to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Despite this, The Brain Tumour Charity has heard from its community of issues when a child, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumour, is on the extremely vulnerable list.

In this circumstance, a parent is unable to secure a priority food delivery because it is their child’s name on the list, not their own. Furthermore, the problem has also been reported for other serious medical conditions.

Understandably, this has caused an immense amount of unnecessary stress for parents, who have had to spend considerable time trying to contact supermarkets in an attempt to resolve the matter.

Even then, they have often not been able to get through to anyone to assist them.

As a result, we have written to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, requesting that either the list be updated to include details of the child’s parents (or carer) or that guidance be provided to supermarkets so that parents can secure priority delivery for their child.

We will let you know when we receive a response.