"It is crucial that councils receive regular access to data and long term funding so they can reach out to everyone who needs support as quickly as possible."
Responding to the Government’s announcement of an increase in those asked to shield to just under four million people, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“During the pandemic councils have helped those clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to COVID-19 to access food, to tackle loneliness and meet any social care needs. Councils have also delivered a wide range of support to others who fall outside this group, such as households who are in or at risk of financial hardship, together with supporting the vaccine roll out for this and other priority groups.
“The expansion of the vaccine priority list and advice for all CEV people to shield until the end of March may cause worry for people and lead to an increase in requests for support. It is crucial that councils receive regular access to data and long term funding so they can reach out to everyone who needs support as quickly as possible.
“Supporting our most vulnerable people has been councils’ number one priority throughout the pandemic and they stand ready to do all they can to help people more at risk to the impacts of COVID-19. They will also continue working across government and with their local partners to keep informing the offer of help to all those who need it."