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Statement from SIA on the Prime Minister’s announcements on lockdown restrictions

Lockdown has been hard for all UK citizens, especially so for those whose daily activities are already restricted or who rely on others to meet their basic care needs. For 50,000 people paralysed with a spinal cord injury it has been an extremely challenging period. A cautious approach to lifting restrictions, based on science and the experience of other countries, is welcome. Spinal cord injured (SCI) people also want to visit their families and loved ones, to exercise outdoors and to take part fully in society. But freedoms for the many cannot be at the risk of endangering the health of the few. SCI people are often more vulnerable both to the effects of coronavirus and the many special risks associated with hospitalisation. In a recent consultation a user said:

If I was put in the ambulance I’d be thinking that was the last I’d seen of my wife and daughter

We want to reassure all people affected by spinal cord injury that we will be seeking specific reassurance from the Government on the precise measures that they will be adopting to support SCI people and other vulnerable groups as the country starts it long path to rebuilding once again. We will be asking for better understanding as to how and when SCI people will be able to return to work and if not what measures will be in place to safeguard their livelihoods; We will seek reassurance on testing to give SCI people assurance about their carers and others around them, as well as the provision and funding of essential PPE; and we will be looking for the long-term plans for re-opening of the wider-NHS to non-Covid related care on which so many SCI people rely.

We are an active and longstanding partner of the NHS and are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that no SCI person is left to face Coronavirus alone.

For any SCI person, their families, friends and loved ones worried about Coronavirus please call our Support Line on 0800 980 0501 or visit our website for advice, representation and support.