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Diabetes UK responds to new government guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people

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We don't think the new guidance published for clinically extremely vulnerable people is good enough, so we're calling on the government to do more. 

The Government has published its updated guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people, who previously may have been shielding, in line with the new tiering system for local restrictions to respond to the coronavirus pandemic

Although not everyone with diabetes was advised to shield, we know that many people with diabetes were - and we do not believe this guidance is good enough. 

In particular, we’re concerned that in the highest risk areas, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to stay at home as much as possible without any additional financial or community support, meaning some people with diabetes may not be able to safely go to work, putting their livelihoods at risk. 

Chris Askew, our Chief Executive, said:

"With the pandemic once again on the rise in our communities, it's simply not good enough for Government to tell clinically extremely vulnerable people - including many people living with diabetes - to stay at home as much as possible in the highest risk areas, without any clear measures in place to support them if they do. 

It’s irresponsible in the extreme to place the responsibility for keeping safe onto vulnerable people, with no clear measures or financial support in place. Clinically extremely vulnerable people need support to ensure they’re safe at work and have access to essential food and medications. This advice isn’t clear enough, and the support - despite our repeated appeals to government - doesn’t go far enough. 

The Government has had six months - including three months of full lockdown - to put measures in place to help those who are at greatest risk of death or serious illness from coronavirus stay safe and well. They haven’t delivered, and this latest last-minute announcement isn’t good enough. We call on them to urgently put in place further financial support and protections to those at greatest risk."

We don’t believe it’s right that people are having to choose between their income and their health, and it’s not right that the responsibility for staying well is being placed on individuals. As part of a coalition of 16 charities, we’ve urgently called on the government to commit to a proper plan to keep clinically extremely vulnerable people safe. 

We’re also continuing to strongly challenge the government to commit to additional support and safeguards for all people with diabetes to be kept safe at work

We’re on your side, and if you’re worried about what these new guidelines mean for you, our helpline team are here to support. Call 0345 123 2399, or 0141 212 8710 if you're in Scotland, and speak to one of our highly trained advisors about your questions or concerns. 

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