I have co-written a letter with Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health, to the Health Secretary requesting clarity on what support Immunocompromised People can expect in the coming weeks and months.

With an estimated 500,000 immunocompromised people in England, the government need to urgently provide answer on free testing, antivirals and prophylactic treatments.

Letter below:

Part 1 of letter
Part 1 of letter
Part 2 of letter
Part 2 of letter


Rt Hon Sajid Javid
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Victoria Street

Via email

Dear Secretary of State,

We are writing to you to request further clarity about measures the Government is taking to protect immunocompromised, clinically vulnerable, and clinically extremely vulnerable patients from Covid-19. This is in advance of the planned resumption of prescription charges for Covid anti-viral and therapeutic treatments currently being prescribed for patients who were hospitalised with Covid or suffering from Long Covid. There are three key issues which we urge you to take action on:

  • Free Testing: We are growing increasingly concerned that your Department has yet to outline its eligibility criteria for free tests. Despite the Government’s ‘Living with Covid plan’ guaranteeing that continued but limited symptomatic testing will be available for a small number of at-risk groups, you have so far failed to set out further details on which groups will be eligible for this provision. We are now a week away from the end of free testing provision, and immunocompromised, CV and CEV people are still none the wiser about whether they will be able to access free tests. How long will they have to wait? During a cost-of-living crisis, it is frankly unacceptable that it is still not clear to vulnerable people whether they will have to pay for essential tests.
  • Antivirals: Secondly, we have been contacted by several CV, CEV and immunosuppressed groups, who are reporting that there is inadequate and often inconsistent access to antivirals through Covid Medical Delivery Units (CMDUs). There are around 500,000 immunosuppressed, CV and CEV people who need to access essential treatment, yet some are reporting difficulty in accessing treatment when they need it. If we are to live well with Covid, we cannot have a postcode lottery on who can or cannot access treatment. When will the Government act to ensure that everyone who requires antivirals, can access them, and that there is consistent advice available to clinicians to make the best decisions for patients?
  • Lead for Immunocompromised: There have been calls for the government to appoint a named, dedicated lead for immunocompromised, CV and CEV people within your Department. This appointment would improve guidance and ensure clear communication for this group at all times.
    Will the government commit to improving guidance for Immunocompromised, CV and CEV people in this way?
  • Prophylactic Treatments: Finally, as you will be aware, last week the MHRA approved Evusheld, a pre-exposure prophylactic treatment that can be administered by a local GP. Clinical trials have shown that Evusheld provides a 77% reduced risk of symptomatic disease over a three-month
    period, which increases to 83% after six months. What plans do you have to roll this out and can you outline the steps you are taking to do so?

We know that you understand the severity of the situation that CV, CEV and immunosuppressed people currently face, as well as their justified anxiety at what the future holds. We would therefore be exceptionally grateful for a response to the above issues raised as soon as possible. We all want to live with Covid, but to do this we need to make sure that those who need additional access to treatment, tests and information are given the support that they deserve.

Kind regards,

Andrew Gwynne

Shadow Minister for Public Health

Vicky Foxcroft

Shadow Minister for Disabled People


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