MDUK’s response to “OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy”

Many people living with muscle-wasting conditions are “clinically extremely vulnerable” and are having to practice shielding. The Government’s recovery strategy confirms that people in this group are currently being asked to shield until the end of June; and yet we know that as recently as the end of April people living with muscle-wasting conditions were receiving letters confirming that they are “clinically extremely vulnerable” and stating that they should shield for 12 weeks from the date of the letter.

Many people living with muscle-wasting conditions are “clinically extremely vulnerable” and are having to practice shielding. The Government’s recovery strategy confirms that people in this group are currently being asked to shield until the end of June; and yet we know that as recently as the end of April people living with muscle-wasting conditions were receiving letters confirming that they are “clinically extremely vulnerable” and stating that they should shield for 12 weeks from the date of the letter.

It is essential that as much clarity as possible is provided as quickly as possible as to the extension of the shielding period, which the Government’s recovery strategy says is likely. The strategy states that people will have to continue to shield for “some time yet”, but this does not help people with muscle-wasting conditions as they contemplate decisions about education, returning to work or seeing loved ones. People living with muscle-wasting conditions have told us that they don’t simply want to ‘get through’ the Coronavirus pandemic; they want to live through it.

The Government’s recovery strategy promises further measures to support people who are shielding, and we look forward to this detail being provided.

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Notes to editors

About muscle-wasting conditions

  • More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have a muscle-wasting condition.
  • Muscle-wasting conditions may be inherited or strike out of the blue. These conditions cause muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. Some affect the heart and muscles vital for breathing, cutting lives short.

Muscular Dystrophy UK

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK is the charity for 70,000 children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions. We provide vital information, advice and support to help people live as independently as possible. We accelerate progress in research and drive the campaign for access to emerging treatments.
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