Socialist Worker

Half a million people with serious conditions left off 'extremely vulnerable' list

Issue No. 2700

Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of being overlooked

Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of being overlooked


The government list of “extremely vulnerable people” who need maximum protection and extra support during the coronavirus crisis has missed off over half a million people.

Some 600,000 people with serious health conditions, including some who’ve had heart or lung transplants, are not currently highlighted to authorities as being in potential danger.

Those on the list are instructed not to leave their houses under any circumstances.

Yet, thousands have not been contacted to check they have stock of their medicines, proper help at home – and they've been unable to access supermarket delivery slots earmarked for those who cannot shop for themselves.

Ministers claimed at the time of the lockdown that the people in the most danger would be taken care of, and that food and medicines would be arranged by national and local government.

But this revelation shows how shallow their commitment was.

GP surgeries are now scrambling to get many of their most sick and disabled patients added, but with such huge numbers involved many are struggling to input the data quickly and accurately enough.

One seriously ill patient who is self-isolating in a shared house in Telford, told the BBC, “I have had to wait for three weeks for a food delivery - I've got another week to go, so I have been surviving off the very last of my supplies from the week before, that were only supposed to last a week.

"For three days straight I was just living off potatoes.

"My boyfriend sent me some facemasks so I could risk going out to the shop, which I have tried but it is very scary.”

The shocking omission of hundreds of thousands people from the most at risk list seems not to have troubled the government. With a shrug of the shoulders, the department of health website advises those with long term serious conditions who’ve been left out to simply add themselves to its list by going online.

Apparently, “vulnerable” does not equate to “valuable”.


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