The UK Government has published new guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people, who previously may have been shielding, in line with the new restrictions for England today. We don't think this guidance is good enough at protecting people with diabetes.
People with diabetes are considered ‘clinically vulnerable’ so they are not supported by this new guidance. While this guidance is helpful for those who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, and now includes those on dialysis and stage 5 chronic kidney disease, it still doesn’t recognise those with diabetes who have increased risk factors.
The guidance does not protect those people living with diabetes who have increased risk factors due to their age, weight, ethnicity, and higher blood glucose levels, which increase the risk of poorer outcomes if they develop coronavirus.
People with diabetes who do not meet the criteria for being ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ face putting their livelihoods at risk. They will not be able to access financial support if they feel it is not safe for them to work outside the home. It is not right that people are having to choose between their income and their health by being put in unacceptable situations if they cannot work from home, and it’s not right that the responsibility for staying well is being placed on individuals.
We are urging the government to roll out the individual risk assessment tool commissioned by the Chief Medical Officer in June, so it can identify those people with diabetes who carry higher risk to enable them to access support to keep themselves safe.
We’re on your side. 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.