Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies is urging the First Minister to support vulnerable residents in North Wales through the Covid-19 crisis by following the UK Government’s lead in making available a database of all those who fall within the ‘at risk’ category.
James has been inundated with correspondence by constituents who consider themselves to be in the ‘at risk’ group and are unable to secure home delivery slots from supermarkets. This is forcing them to go in person to the shops, putting themselves and others at risk of contracting Covid-19.
In England, the UK Government has also set up a scheme to enable people to register as a vulnerable adult, enabling them to access a number of services as a priority, and James has written to the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, calling for a similar register to be set up in Wales.
He has also signed a letter to the First Minister from Welsh MPs which highlights the serious concerns at the lack of access to supermarket delivery slots for our most vulnerable.
“I am currently being inundated with correspondence from concerned Vale of Clwyd residents, who consider themselves to fall within the ‘at risk’ category for Covid-19, and are finding it impossible to obtain home delivery slots through local supermarkets.
“I am aware that NHS Wales is sending out a letter to those with specific underlying health concerns, and I hope this will arrive with constituents imminently. I have seen a copy of the letter, which details the importance of arranging the home delivery of food supplies. Whilst this is sound advice, it is likely to heighten anxieties regarding the lack of availability of supermarket home deliveries – since I understand only a small number will be entitled to the state delivery of food parcels.
“The UK Government has created a database of all those who fall within the ‘at risk’ category, and has shared this information with supermarkets to allow them to prioritise the most vulnerable in society for access to home delivery. Furthermore, the gov.uk website contains a form allowing members of public to register for help if they consider themselves vulnerable.
“Supermarket management have advised that no such database has been made available to supermarkets in Wales and this is placing people at increased risk. Some are being forced to leave their homes, against their better judgement, and Public Health advice, to obtain essential shopping, causing them unnecessary distress.
“I have therefore urged the First Minister to urgently rethink this and to join forces with UK Government to add Welsh residents to the current operations in England with regard to vulnerable people”.
James is also disappointed that the Welsh Government is not yet embracing UK Government efforts relating to community volunteer co-ordination and has also raised this with the First Minister.
He said: “I am aware that Welsh Government has said that such efforts can be managed locally. However, it is clear that the centrally-coordinated scheme via GoodSAM is proving incredibly successful in England. I am already seeing multiple, overlapping operations among local community groups and organisations in my constituency. While these are very welcome and appreciated, such a piecemeal approach cannot hope to begin to match that of a UK-promoted, prominent and organised scheme”.
Anyone in need of assistance should in the first instance telephone Denbighshire County Council on 01824 706101.