Daisy Cooper outlines Lib Dems’ 5 point plan for clinically extremely vulnerable people

As the world’s scientists try to work out the extent of the danger posed by new Covid variant Omicron and Governments grapple with with what it might mean for the Winter ahead and Christmas in particular, Lib Dem Health spokesperson Daisy Cooper has set out a 5 point plan to address the needs of one group of people let down by the Government.

In the first lockdown, those who were clinically extremely vulnerable had to completely isolate. Our Mary Reid wrote a brilliant Isolation Diary which she later expanded into a book.

The impact on those who had to shield was profound but in recent months they have been forgotten. In fact, the Observer reports that over 100,000 people with compromised immune systems have yet to have their booster.

The emergence of Omicron will no doubt be yet another moment of anxiety for those who were shielding and those who love them.

Daisy said that the Government needs to do much more for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable:

It’s often said that how a society treats its most vulnerable is the measure of its humanity, but if that’s the case, then this Government does not measure up.

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable and their families are incredibly worried about the news of a new variant on our shores. For too long, the Government has ignored these people, their concerns around the vaccine programme and the lack of guidance and support.

The Government must not ignore them any longer: it must be proactive in tackling this new variant and protect those most at risk. The clinically vulnerable deserve clear guidance and support from ministers instead of being treated as an afterthought.

The decision to end the shielding programme – when many continued to shield – left our most vulnerable feeling like the rug had been pulled out from underneath them. It’s high time the Government put support measures back in place, including getting on top of the utter mess surrounding third primary doses and introducing a shielding programme that genuinely supports those who need it.

The five point plan is as follows:

1. Urgently address the chaos and confusion surrounding the roll-out of the third primary vaccines for the immuno-suppressed

2. Appoint a Minister to have overall coordinating responsibility for all CEV matters and establish monthly meetings for patient groups with that Minister

3. Issue and promote updated official guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable on the current risks, including those posed by Omicron, and how best to protect themselves

4. Create a new register of the clinically extremely vulnerable, t which includes those who are newly CEV plus anyone who needs to be re-classified as this as evidence of the new variant emerges

5. Establish a supported shielding programme to provide proper pay, not just sick pay, for those who cannot work from home, and mental health support and befriending services for those shielding and suffering from loneliness and isolation

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  • Brad Barrows 28th Nov '21 - 4:20pm

    The most vulnerable group are those who have compromised immune systems but are unable to be vaccinated. They should not have to risk their lives by going to work so if the option of working from home does not exist – which will be the case with some types of jobs/occupations – they should have the option of resigning their jobs without being penalised when they apply for state benefits. Those who are unable to work due to the high risk they would face from doing so should be entitled to exactly the same financial support that would be available to any other person who is medically unable to earn a living through work – no more but no less.

  • Ruth Bright 29th Nov '21 - 8:59am

    @Brad good point.
    LDV did such a good job during that first lockdown. How do you get Mary’s book. All my Hanukkah/Christmas gift problems solved 😊 x

  • Greece made vaccines mandatory for those over 60, while Austria has also mandated the jab from February in a bid to stem the spread of Covid. Germany seems to want mandatory vaccinations across the EU https://inews.co.uk/news/world/covid-vaccines-as-europe-considers-making-jabs-mandatory-experts-say-the-uk-should-not-follow-suit-1329093
    Mandated vaccinations do not fit well with traditional British views on civil liberties, but a lot of what we presumed would never happen here has in fact occurred.

  • I’m all for mandating vaccines and restrictions on those who without medical reasons refuse the jab.
    No doubt we will hear the same arguments from the same people arguing that you can still catch and pass on covid even if jabbed…..
    However, vaccines do prevent serious illness and the need for hospital treatment in the vast majority of cases and therefore to protect public health, these mandates are needed.

    On January 24th 2021 the UK had 4077 people on mechanical ventilation beds
    considering the UK only has 5,900 critical care beds, of which only 70% are for adults (4130) the rest are for Paediatric and Neonatal
    When looked at this way, surely even the most ardent anti-lock down types can acknowledge just how close things were for the NHS.
    Yes they expanded ICU capacity to cope under emergency measures by converting Surgical wards to ICU wards etc, however, this is at the expense of elective surgery, hence the reason we have so many people with delayed treatment.

    If ICU’s are at or near capacity with Covid Patients, then that puts public health as a whole at risk……..

    Germany is starting to worry about ICU capacity and they have far more capacity than the UK when it comes to intensive care beds…..

    If mandatory covid jabs can protect public health systems across the globe, then bring them on and if that means using sticks and placing restrictions on unvaccinated people in order to encourage more take up of the jab, then I am entirely comfortable with that

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