Our letter to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

A few days ago we told you we had received a reply from Miriam Cates MP, in response to our letter calling for people with pulmonary hypertension not to be forgotten during the easing of lockdown restrictions.

In it she told us she had written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to bring our concerns to his attention and to ask that the Government makes sure that there is clear and regular communication around the strategy for those shielding as we emerge from lockdown.

Today, 12th June 2020, we have sent him the below letter to ensure the conversation continues.

Dear Mr Jenrick

Re: Correspondence with Miriam Cates MP regarding those shielding with serious underlying health conditions

I am writing to you as Chair of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, a national rare disease charity based in Sheffield. I recently wrote to our constituency MP, Miriam Cates, to express our concern that those shielding with serious underlying health conditions (including pulmonary hypertension) are not receiving adequate recognition during the communication of the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Aside from the announcement on 31st May that the guidance for those shielding had changed, there has been very little about this group communicated during Government daily briefings.

Our members, whilst appreciative of the shielding support provided by Government, are justifiably disappointed that this does not seem to be acknowledged by Westminster and tell us they feel ‘cast aside’ and ‘forgotten’ – despite making such a huge sacrifice.

While this sacrifice is in part done for their own physical protection it must not be forgotten it is also to help protect the NHS and other crucial services.

We relayed these concerns to Miriam Cates MP and received a reply from her on 8th June 2020, in which she told us;

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Communities, Robert Jenrick, to bring your concerns to his attention and to ask that the Government makes sure that there is clear and regular communication around the strategy for the ‘shielded’ group as we emerge from lockdown.”

The purpose of this letter is to ask that you respond to both Miriam Cates MP and ourselves, so we can pass your reassurances on to our members – many of whom feel anxious and let down.

We will be watching developments carefully and look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Iain Armstrong

Chair, PHA UK

Last medically reviewed: June, 2020 • June, 2023