Thousands of clinically vulnerable not reached at start of Covid crisis, watchdog finds

Lack of contingency planning and outdated data meant that at-risk people could not be contacted

Hundreds of thousands of clinically vulnerable people could not access state support for several weeks at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic because of a dearth of official data, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said a lack of contingency planning meant officials had to scramble to develop from scratch a system to identify those who might need support while they were unable to leave their homes.

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