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Local Government: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure local resilience forums and local authorities can meet the needs of (a) shielding and (b) non-shielded vulnerable individuals as part of its response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To support those who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus, we are working with local authorities, the food industry, local resilience and emergency partners, and voluntary groups to ensure these individuals have both support and access to essential items such as groceries and medicines through deliveries and priority supermarket delivery slots, if they do not have alternative means of accessing these.

We are sharing data with local authorities on deliveries, including on planned deliveries in their area; where individuals have unmet basic care needs; or where individuals require assistance lifting food into their homes. Guidance has been issued to local authorities, most recently on 24 April.

The Government is also supporting local authorities to identify and support vulnerable people who fall outside the shielding programme. We have enabled local authorities to use NHS volunteers who registered with the GoodSam app. The system is also now open for self-referrals. The Government and local authorities are also working with supermarkets so they can offer priority delivery slots to non-shielded vulnerable people.

In addition, we have provided over £3.2 billion for local councils to manage the immediate impacts of coronavirus.

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