Coronavirus: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer Conservative, Northampton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure (a) people with motor neurone disease and (b) other vulnerable groups can access the healthcare they need during the covid-19 outbreak; and what support will be available to family members who have had to (a) stop working and (b) withdraw children from school in order to provide care and avoid passing on the infection to vulnerable family members.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

If vulnerable individuals receive support from health and social care organisations, for example, if care is provided through the local authority or health care system, this will continue as normal. Health providers will take additional precautions to ensure individuals are protected.

If you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed on the following link, you will receive a letter or phone call from your GP and you are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

The Government is committed to supporting the millions of families that will be affected over the coming months.

The Chancellor committed £1 billion to support the financial security of vulnerable people, through a half billion boost to the welfare system, and a half billion pound Hardship Fund for Local authorities. The Chancellor has also announced that for those in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three month mortgage holiday and will work with trade unions and business groups to develop new forms of employment support.

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