We call for the Government to urgently revise new shielding guidance
13th Oct 2020 - Gemma Peters
Following the Government's announcement on shielding, our Chief Executive Gemma Peters is calling on the Government to urgently revise the new shielding guidance and give people with blood cancer financial and mental health support.
Gemma Peters, Chief Executive, said: “It is a ludicrous situation where the Government guidance is telling people with blood cancer to stay away from shops because they’re too dangerous, and in the same breath that it is fine for them to spend many hours in shops if they happen to work in them. In the same areas people with blood cancer are being told to avoid all but essential travel, the Government is saying it is fine for them to continue working in busy places like cafes, restaurants and schools.
"Even if the infection rate became so high that shielding was reintroduced, all the Government is offering people with blood cancer is that they may be entitled to statutory sick pay. Statutory sick pay is nowhere near enough to support a family, and so even in these areas we would be likely to see people with blood cancer forced to choose between their health and finances.
“This does not make any sense, and the Government needs to urgently revise this guidance and give financial support to people with blood cancer who cannot work from home. If not, we will see thousands of them being unnecessarily exposed to a very high risk to their health, and this is an injustice that will disproportionately affect people who are less well-off.
“This guidance also fails to offer specific mental health support. The mental health toll of the pandemic on people who have been shielding has been great, and so it is extremely disappointing that, six months on, there is no extra mental health support for people who are vulnerable to the coronavirus.”
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