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Hundreds of thousands may have ‘slipped through the net’ of COVID support, say MPs
Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in England may have “slipped through the net” and missed out on vital support in securing food, medicines and basic care in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by MPs.
The public accounts committee said yesterday (Wednesday) that a contact centre set up by the government was unable to reach about 800,000 people who were clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to the virus.
Many of them could not be contacted because of missing or incorrect telephone numbers in their NHS records.
Their details were eventually passed to local authorities to try to contact them, but the report says that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) still does not know if councils were able to reach any or all of these people.
The government first told CEV people to shield themselves on 22 March 2020, and it developed a scheme to provide them with food boxes, medicines and [...]