Council chief waiting on government to supply list of 1.5m

‘We don’t know who needs our help’: Council chief says army of volunteers are ready to support at-risk residents but government still hasn’t supplied list of 1.5m most vulnerable who go into 12-week lockdown TODAY

  • Government tells people with pre-existing health issue not to go out for supplies
  • Nottinghamshire council chief says he has army of volunteers waiting to help
  • 1.5m vulnerable people on list will be offered the packages to help protect them
  • Minister Robert Jenrick said GPs are writing to hundreds of thousands of people
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A council boss with an army of volunteers ready to help people at risk from coronavirus has said he waiting on the Government for a list of those in need.

Anthony May, the chief executive of Nottinghamshire county council, said he has been overwhelmed with offers of support, but no details on who requires help.

The Government yesterday revealed they will ask 1.5 million vulnerable people on a list of at-risk groups to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks as Boris Johnson warned that people must follow guidelines or he will have to bring forward ‘tough measures’. 

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick today said that now was the time to ‘go further’ to shield clinically vulnerable people, and pledged that they are ‘not alone’

The NHS is expected to contact the elderly and those with serious health conditions by post tomorrow then, followed by a text and phone call, urging them to stay home.

But speaking to Today, Mr May warned it would be days before the plans his council has put in place could be acted on without the names. 

Anthony May, the chief executive of Nottinghamshire county council, said he has been overwhelmed with offers of support, but no details on who requires help.

‘What we expect to receive this week after the initial contact from the NHS is a list of those people that require our help locally,’ he said.

‘If people are in need then yes were gearing up for whatever they need, particularly those who have been identified as having underlying health needs.

‘We know this is going to be a really difficult time for them. Are partnerships locally are used to dealing with vulnerable people, so this isnt in that sense new, but the conditions and circumstances are of course very new.’

Mr May added the government had ‘helpfully’ given him advance warning last week of their plan to demand at risk group self-isolate for three months, with the local authority bringing together its partners to create a support plan.

But without the local lists of at-risk individuals, the hundreds in each council are being left confused.

‘We need the data, we’re not going to let the data get in the way, we need to get help to these people. We’ve got some military planners to help us with logistics,’ added Mr May.

‘We’ve got offers of volunteers, more than we can cope with actually.’

The 1.5million people identified by the government as ‘extremely vulnerable’ will be provided with aid packages. (Stock image)

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said last night that now was the time to ‘go further’ to shield clinically vulnerable people, and pledged that they are ‘not alone’.

‘In recent weeks heroic workers in the NHS, social care and public services in local government have been shouldering the country’s burden,’ he said.

Who are the ‘at risk’ groups who need to stay at home? 

People with underlying health conditions including severe asthma and specific cancers are being urged to stay at home ‘at all times’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Children and adults already suffering from serious health conditions face the highest risk of needing hospital treatment for Covid-19, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

The Government has strongly advised people who fall into the high-risk categories to exercise ‘shielding’ measures by staying at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks.

Those at risk will be contacted by NHS England via letter and should implement the measures from the day they receive it, the DHSC said.

People who are most at risk include:

  • Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer, as well as those with cancers of the blood or bone marrow who are at any stage of their treatment.
  • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
  • Those undergoing targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors.
  • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the past six months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
  • Those with respiratory conditions including severe asthma, severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis.
  • Pregnant women who have significant heart disease.

The DHSC said people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase infection are also classed as high-risk. 

‘I think we owe it to them and the most vulnerable in society to stay home, to protect the NHS and, by doing this, to save lives.

‘And so today we have to go further to shield the most clinically vulnerable people to help save their lives.’

He added: ‘I don’t underestimate what we are asking of people, it will be tough, but if you are one of these people I want to reassure you on behalf of the government that you are not alone. 

‘We will be with you throughout to support you.’

Mr Jenrick said the Government was creating a network of local ‘hubs’ to ensure those without family or friends to support them received their medicines and other vital supplies.

The ambitious plan is being overseen by the country’s best military planners, with medicine and food parcels being left on vulnerable people’s doorsteps.

He added: ‘This will be a very worrying time for people with these health conditions, but while more people will be required to be by themselves at home, and that’s difficult, let’s guarantee, that they are never alone, and when all of this is done that we emerge as better neighbours, to each other, as stronger communities and that we are all proud of the part we played in this effort.’

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said 1.5 million people who have been identified as clinically vulnerable will be advised in the coming days to take shielding measures.

Those measures include staying at home at all times and avoiding any face-to-face contact.

However she said the Government may have overestimated the number.

‘For any of the public listening who might be in this group, because we want to be as inclusive as possible, we may slightly overestimate the number of individuals,’ Dr Harries said.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr Jenrick said that GPs were writing to thousands of patients with pre-existing health conditions and would be asking to stay at home.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophie Ridge yesterday Mr Jenrick added that those without a ‘family at their side’ would be given food medicine and deliveries possible from the armed forces to help them through the crisis.

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