Coronavirus: Nearly 6,000 government food parcels delivered to ‘extremely vulnerable’ in Suffolk

Government food parcels hae been delivered to those having to stay at home due to the coronavirus cr

Government food parcels hae been delivered to those having to stay at home due to the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Thousands of government food parcels have been sent to those deemed at highest risk of Covid-19 in Suffolk, it has been revealed.

More than 22,000 people in the county have been told: “Do not leave your house” until at least the end of June, because they are “extremely clinically vulnerable” to coronavirus.

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The “shielded patient list”, which has grown by 4,000 in Suffolk in two weeks as GPs add more people, includes those with specific medical conditions such as breathing problems, as well as cancer patients and pregnant women.

The NHS directive for people on the list to stay indoors makes it more difficult for those individuals to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine.

Councils in Suffolk have been contacting those on the shielded patient list to ask if any urgent support is required, with about 15,000 people contacted.

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And Ipswich Borough Council’s latest coronavirus update has revealed that almost 6,000 government food parcels have been delivered to shielding group residents across Suffolk.

In Ipswich, 147 emergency food parcels have been delivered since April 2, with 24 parcels being delivered in the week beginning April 27.

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Since April 20, Suffolk councils and the NHS have established a system with transport providers to collect and deliver prescriptions for those unable to pick up medicines themselves and do not have friends or relatives who can help.

Details of those calling Suffolk’s Home, But Not Alone number are passed to the community transport provider, who collects and delivers the medicines.

Between Monday, April 27 and Sunday, May 4, Ipswich Borough Council received 18 requests to help with collecting and delivering prescriptions.

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Nationwide, the shielded patient list has more than doubled from 900,000 to 2million in recent weeks as doctors add more at-risk people.

Those on the list are being told to “strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus”.

Each person has received an NHS letter and text message which says: “Do not leave your house,” for fear they might become infected.

That restriction remains in place until at least the end of June, regardless of whether a lockdown is being imposed in the UK or not.

The Home, But Not Alone telephone number for those in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and is staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.

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