Local services to supply groceries and medicines to those most at risk.
People in Scotland at highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) will begin to receive home deliveries of essential groceries on Friday.
Letters from the Chief Medical Officer have been issuing this week to those who are at greatest risk of COVID-19, to provide bespoke guidance on shielding from infection and information about the support available, which includes access to home deliveries through a text message service.
People who have received the letter this week and signed up to the service have been texted with the option of starting their weekly deliveries of essential food items including soup, pasta, rice, fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee and biscuits, as well as toiletries such as shower gel and toilet roll, on Friday.
Other measures being put in place include:
Specialist medicines such as chemotherapy drugs delivered through local health boards
Local Resilience Partnerships working with Community Pharmacy to scale up deliveries of pharmacy medicines
Work with supermarkets to ensure priority delivery slots for people at high clinical risk
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“These new services are available to those at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who do not have support structures around them to help.
“This includes people with specific forms of cancer, severe respiratory conditions, certain rare diseases, recipients of organ transplants, those on immunosuppression therapies and pregnant women with congenital heart disease.
“Many people will have support from friends and family but I would encourage everyone who receives a letter and requires support to sign up to the service immediately – this will ensure you have adequate supplies of food and essential items during these challenging times.
“It is vitally important that people at highest clinical risk are shielded as much as possible, and our advice alongside this text service will help protect people from the detrimental effects of the virus, including disruption to health and social care and key services.
“Our local services must prioritise those most in need and – by doing so – we will protect them, reduce the burden on the NHS and save lives.
“By continuing to work together, we can all play our part in keeping everyone safe.”