OPINION

We must work together to shield the vulnerable and save lives

Posted On 27 Mar 2020 at 2:14 pm

The Conservative government is helping to support Brighton and Hove’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic with an £8.1 million grant.

It comes as our country faces an unprecedented challenge – and shielding our most vulnerable people is one of the most important steps that we can take to prevent loss of life.

The NHS has identified up to 1.5 million people who are extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus due to their medical status.

And this week those identified in Brighton and Hove have been receiving letters advising them to stay at home for the next 12 weeks to protect themselves.

These people will be concerned about the practicalities of life – how to get food, everyday household items, sanitary products and medicines.

Many people will have family, friends and neighbours who will step in to help. But not everyone will have a support network for all or part of the challenging isolation period.

To provide that safety net, the Conservative government is setting up a local support system for those who cannot turn to family or friends.

Those people identified as extremely medically vulnerable will be able to access a delivery package through a specific website and hotline.

There will be no charge for the standard box of supplies – and community pharmacies will ensure that those in this group who need medicines will get them.

The government will deliver this package in partnership with the council, local resilience forums, food suppliers and voluntary organisations and will provide an £8.1 million grant to the council.

At this time we must all work together to shield our most vulnerable and save lives.

Councillor Steve Bell is the leader of the Conservative group on Brighton and Hove City Council.

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