Charities call for stronger guidance and support for people at higher risk in England

17 October 2020

As part of a coalition of 16 leading health charities, we have written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for clear guidance, financial support and safe access to food, medicines and healthcare services to enable vulnerable people to stay safe as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

People who are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus have made huge changes to their lives in order to protect themselves - including you, people with Crohn's or Colitis. But you need the support of the Government to continue doing so.

We are not calling for the blanket re-introduction of shielding, but are urging the Government to recognise the vital support that is needed so that people in England at higher risk are able to protect themselves. Read the latest guidance for people with Crohn's and Colitis at higher risk.

In the letters, the coalition has called for:

  • Financial support: We’ve asked for a new support scheme (or to extend the furlough scheme) for high risk people who are unable to work from home as furlough comes to an end. This is essential for those who live or work in areas where levels of coronavirus are high. The Government must also ensure that COVID-secure measures are enforced stringently to keep everyone safe at work.
  • Continued access to health and care services: High risk people must be kept at the centre of health and care planning during the pandemic. The Government must do everything possible to avoid shutting down essential health and care services to avoid further harm to mental and physical health.
  • Access to essential items: Vulnerable people should not have to take unnecessary risks to access essential items. They must have safe access to deliveries of essential items, including food and medicines, particularly for those in areas where levels of coronavirus are high.
  • Better communication: People at high risk from coronavirus need timely information in plain English that reaches everyone, not just those with internet access, so they understand what they can do to protect themselves.

The coalition are asking for a meeting with the Health Secretary and Chancellor before the furlough scheme ends on 31 October. We're here to speak up for people with Crohn's and Colitis.

Read the full letter.

Read our information on employment and coronavirus, including financial support and benefits.