Plan To Protect: Charities urge PM to support more than 500,000 immunocompromised people to live alongside COVID-19

SRUK has joined a coalition of health charities calling on the government to set out how it will help protect those who are immunocompromised and for whom COVID-19 still poses a serious threat.

We are one of 18 charities concerned about how, despite announcing that all COVID-19 restrictions in England are set to end a month early, there has still been no official word on how severely immunocompromised people will be supported to remain safe.

Despite this lack of guidance, the government is expected to publish its plan for living with COVID-19 next week. To ensure this plan supports those most at risk from COVID-19 now and in the future, we have identified five key tests that it must pass.

These are:

1. Directly address the concerns of people at highest risk and commit to improve communication with them

2. Smooth, timely access to COVID-19 treatments

3. COVID-19 tests to remain free for all

4. Improve employment protection and support

5. Set out a plan for the use of preventative COVID-19 treatments and prioritise further research into treatments and vaccines

    Sue Farrington, SRUK Chief Executive, said: “We know that people with conditions such as scleroderma remain at increased risk of COVID-19 and yet it seems that very little is being done to support them.

    “More than 500,000 immunocompromised people have been left to fend for themselves and we regularly hear from people, even now, who feel anxious about leaving their home for fear of catching the virus. We need government to step up and ensure a proper plan is in place so that everyone has the opportunity to live a normal life alongside COVID-19.”

    Read more about what we are calling for and why in our briefing. The other charities supporting this action are Muscular Dystrophy UK, Kidney Care UK, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Rare Autoimmune Rheumatic Disease Alliance (RAIRDA), Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis, Blood Cancer UK, The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, Anthony Nolan, Macmillan Cancer Support, Lupus UK, Parkinson’s UK, Crohn’s & Colitis UK, Versus Arthritis, Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS), Kidney Research UK and MS Society.