MP found that up to 800,000 data gaps missed shield support

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Up to 800,000 people may be missing support from the government’s coronavirus shield program due to inadequate data and lack of coordination between government sectors.

The Public Accounting Commission provides advice and hands-on support that allows programs designed to protect the most clinically vulnerable people to isolate and reduce the risk of catching Covid-19. Said it was designed by. Lack of integrated systems, often seen in government programs. “

The report shows similarities between the government’s handling of programs and the failure to develop a pandemic economic plan.

By May 2020, approximately 2.2 million people were advised not to leave their homes under the Shield Program, which qualified them to deliver food and medicine.

However, the report identified some flaws in the system, which meant that the government did not reach those who were supposed to be eligible for assistance quickly or at all.

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Prior to the advent of the coronavirus, the government had no plans to protect clinically vulnerable people during a pandemic, and it took “too long” to identify some of the most at-risk people. “The MP said.

However, limited access to medical records made it difficult to identify people with relevant health conditions. According to the report, the Ministry of Health and NHS Digital are calling for a “detailed plan” to improve access to and participate in the NHS. Data system.

On the other hand, DHSC’s first criteria for a shield program, that is, those with a medical condition that is likely to become seriously ill or die of Covid-19, exclude some groups in desperate need of support. did.

People over the age of 70, blind and visually impaired were not advised to shield and were not eligible for support from programs such as food packaging. This means “I’m having a hard time accessing food,” the report found.

Standards were updated during the pandemic, and in February of this year, an additional 1.7 million people were advised to shield.

The report also found a regional contradiction in how to determine that the GP is clinically very vulnerable and should be advised to shield.

Approximately 800,000 people identified as in need of assistance may have “passed through the internet and missed the coveted assistance” because the government was unable to contact them.

About half of these people could not be reached because the NHS record phone number was missing or incorrect.

The MP also warned that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government could not yet determine if the local government could reach these 800,000 people and the data were still inadequate.

They said the program improved as it progressed.

“Clearly, the government has learned lessons that have influenced the more recent iterations of the Shield, and we welcome the greater role that local governments currently play in helping people without central direction.” The report said. “MHCLG is now confident that local governments can help people in the region, as they were initially overlooked as to whether they were capable enough.”

However, MHCLG and DHSC said they need to learn lessons from this scheme and implement better systems to identify and contact vulnerable people in the future.

For example, DHSC and NHS Digital will explain to the Commission the reasons for the “zip code draw” that the GP will introduce to the Shield program within six months and “identify lessons on how to support a consistent clinical approach in the future.” MP says it needs to be. ..

In particular, data sharing needs to be improved. MHCLG needs to “urgently” confirm that it has identified the support needs of all vulnerable people, and DHSC and NHS Digital have various NHS agencies up-to-date, reliable and complete, including contact details. He said that patient records need to be safely available.

A government spokesperson said: During this world-class emergency, we build and deliver emergency national plans at record speeds across multiple government sectors and are clinically highly vulnerable to 1.8 million people. Identified people and provided important food and medicine to help them protect effectively.

They added: “We have put a lot of effort into contacting people by letter, text and phone and have worked closely with Congress to ensure they are in contact. Many people need it. I felt I wouldn’t, so I chose not to accept the offer of government support. The first shield guidance was agreed by four UK Chief Health Officers based on the latest evidence available. Since then, we have learned more about viruses and adapted our approach, which provides shield guidance to the most vulnerable people and prioritizes vaccinations to help the most vulnerable people. I was able to protect. “

MP found that up to 800,000 data gaps missed shield support

Source link MP found that up to 800,000 data gaps missed shield support

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