Edinburgh pensioners still struggling to get supermarket home delivery slots

MP says it has reached crisis point

Saturday, 2nd May 2020, 7:30 am
Ian Murray says some old folk just can't get the food and essential items they need

PENSIONERS who are self-isolating are still struggling to secure online supermarket delivery slots, Edinburgh South Labour MP Ian Murray has warned.

He said elderly people following the official advice not to leave their homes could not get home deliveries and were not eligible for food parcels because they were not in the “shielding” category.

Mr Murray said: “One resident over 70 is self-isolating and is not in the shielding category as he has no underlying health conditions.

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“He has been unable to get any supermarket online delivery slots, and called the national phone line. He said he was told he didn’t fall into the most vulnerable category, but he stressed that he didn’t want a food parcel - just some help getting on to a list for supermarket deliveries so he could buy food. He said he was told his details would be passed on, but heard nothing for a week.

“This has now reached crisis point. Vulnerable people in Edinburgh are following the advice to self-isolate, but simply can’t get the food and essential items they need.

“My staff and I are doing everything we can to find volunteers to pick up and deliver food for them because they get nowhere with the government’s official helpline. The Scottish Government has set this up, fobbed it off to councils, and is now failing to recognise the scale of the crisis.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We absolutely recognise the scale of this crisis and we are working to ensure vulnerable groups can access help for their essential needs.

“Unfortunately, supermarkets do not currently have the capacity to provide enough delivery slots for those socially isolating, so we’re asking the wider community to consider if they need to use an online shop or if they are able to physically go to a shop to free up capacity for those who really need it.”