Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has jointly written to three secretaries of state to say that many vulnerable people are “putting themselves and others at risk” because they are unable to get food delivered, asking them to “work with supermarkets to ensure that their data on clinically vulnerable people is update regularly”.
Layla has heard from vulnerable constituents that they are unable to get food if they follow the Government’s advice and self-isolate, citing a lack of availability of supermarket delivery slots, meaning that many are going to supermarkets in person to make sure they don’t go hungry.
The MP raised the issue of those who self-assess as clinically vulnerable who have not yet been contacted by the NHS for confirmation of their status, asking the health, communities and environment secretaries for assurance that they “will be promptly assessed and receive confirmation of their status as an absolute priority”.
Moran asked the departments to “work more closely together to ensure no one is left hungry at this time”, noting that responsibility for aspects is split between them.
Commenting, Layla said:
“I’m hearing from constituents who are worrying about how they’ll manage without a delivery slot for 2-3 weeks. Many are clinically vulnerable, but are still waiting on confirmation from the Government that they have been added to the register.
“That means that the vulnerable, especially those over 70, are putting themselves and others at risk by still shopping in person.
“I’m calling on Matt Hancock, Robert Jenrick and George Eustice to work together on this, and to give us assurances that those who self-identify as clinically vulnerable will be promptly assessed so they can get the help they need.”
31 March 2020
Dear George, Robert and Matt,
Many of my constituents are following the Government’s advice by self-isolating, especially if they are particularly vulnerable and over 70 years old. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you are all aware, this has led to greater strain on the delivery services provided by supermarkets, which has left many of my constituents worrying how they will manage without a delivery slot for 2 to 3 weeks.
As a result of this, some of my more vulnerable constituents have been going food shopping during the ‘priority hours’, putting themselves and others at risk. This is causing increased anxiety at a time when many in the ‘at risk’ group are already extremely stressed.
It’s so important that we ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities, who are following Government advice and staying indoors, are not at a disadvantage and are unable to get food. With that in mind, please could you:
• Assure me that those who have self-identified as clinically vulnerable on the Government’s website will be promptly assessed and receive confirmation of their status as an absolute priority;
• Outline what the assessment process is, and how it is monitored; and
• Confirm that the Government will work with supermarkets to ensure that their data on clinically vulnerable people is updated regularly, to reflect the new additions being made every day.
I understand that this is an issue being tackled by your departments jointly, and I hope that you will continue to work more closely together to ensure no one is left hungry at this time.
Thank you for everything you are doing in the face of this crisis, and I look forward to receiving these important clarifications from you at your earliest possible convenience.
Layla Moran MP
Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon