Age UK comment in response to HSJ's story (16/06/20) "Shielding programme for high risk patients to be dropped"
Published on 17 June 2020 10:12 AM
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:
"If true the loosening of the restrictions on the million or so older people who have been 'shielding' for a long time now will be very good news - provided they have confidence that this is truly in their best interests and fully justified by the current level of risk. We know that the last change in the guidance for this group caused some confusion, as well as a degree of scepticism, so its beholden on the Government to be very clear both in its rationale and its communications.
"Looking further ahead, if the reports suggesting the shielding scheme is to be wound down from the end of July are well founded , to be replaced by a more individualised approach, it will be really important to ensure that older people are not left high and dry if support is withdrawn before they can take a full part in our society again. Age UK has also received lots of enquiries from older workers in the 'shielded group' who are worried that their employers may be unwilling or unable to have them back in the workplace, for fear of being unable to keep them safe. Government must do all it can to support older workers in retaining their employment, for the sake of these older people's finances and wellbeing and in the best interests of our economy too."