The Scottish Government has vowed to help supermarkets prioritise deliveries for vulnerable people following pressure from an MSP.

Maurice Golden, who represents East Renfrewshire as part of his West Scotland remit, insisted the government should be supplying chains with a list of the most 'at risk' people to ensure they get essentials during the coronavirus lockdown.

Around 136,000 of the most vulnerable people in Scotland are now part of a 'shielded' group who have been told they must not leave their homes under any circumstances for 12 weeks.

Many people in this group will have friends and family who can get shopping to them but those without a support network will have little choice but to use supermarket delivery services, which have been in high demand.

Conservative MSP Mr Golden, who is shadow economy secretary, highlighted that, while the UK Government had already supplied supermarkets with these details, businesses in Scotland are still waiting.

He said: “Supermarkets and their workers have played a vital role as Scotland comes to terms with the impact of the coronavirus but they need more help in ensuring the most vulnerable people can access delivery slots.

“We’re all aware of examples where people are getting regular deliveries when perhaps they shouldn’t be but the big chains can only amend this if they have the data to do so.”

Government bosses have insisted work is underway to help supermarkets prioritise getting essential supplies to the vulnerable and it is hoped a system can be put into action from next week.

Ministers have said they will seek to help not just those in the shielded group but also those older and disabled people who are on the fringes of it.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We understand this is a difficult time for many people, especially those who are vulnerable or at risk but are not part of the shielded category, such as older or disabled people, and detailed work is underway to support them.

“This includes work to allow supermarkets to implement the necessary arrangements to allow them to prioritise their delivery slots for those who are in the high clinical risk group, as well as those being shielded, and we will be sharing a list with supermarkets of those who have opted in to this service so deliveries can start next week.

“We have identified and written to over 136,000 people in the highest clinical risk groups in Scotland, including people in all of the key categories.

"This will be an ongoing process so, if people are newly diagnosed or where clinicians feel it is required, we will continue to add to the central list to ensure people are supported to shield.”


Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. We're not exaggerating when we say the future of local newspapers and the vital service we have provided for many years is under threat.

Please consider supporting us in whatever way you can - by paying just 90p for a copy of the newspaper when you're shopping for essential supplies for yourself and others or by subscribing to our e-edition.