/ Shopping

Have you managed to get a supermarket delivery?

With so many people now doing their shopping online, delivery slots have been hard to come by. Have you managed to get one over the last month?

Update 24/04/2020: EFRA survey

As part of its inquiry into food supply during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee has launched an online survey, inviting the public to share their experiences of accessing food during the outbreak.  

The survey is open for submission until 28 April, you can fill it out here.

14/04/2020: Have you managed to get a supermarket delivery?

Supermarket delivery slots have been described as ‘gold dust’ by one of our social media followers, and we know that many vulnerable people are concerned about how to get hold of the groceries they need. 

We’re working hard to provide advice and support for coronavirus-vulnerable households on how to get food deliveries.

Supermarkets say they’re doing what they can to get online delivery slots to the most vulnerable people, increasing slots and this week opening them up to extremely vulnerable non-customers.

But we’re aware that many of you may still be struggling, and we want to hear from you. 

Read all the latest COVID-19 news and advice on our dedicated hub

What are UK supermarkets doing?

It’s been widely reported that details of up to 1.5 million extremely vulnerable people would be shared by the UK Government with supermarkets in England.

Details of around 110,000 people who had requested support with getting food were shared with supermarkets on 3 April. 

But what about the other nations? On Wednesday (8 April) the Welsh government shared an equivalent list with supermarkets in Wales.

Prior to this we heard reports of people living within a few kilometers of each other, on either side of the border, using the same supermarket for their weekly shop, but with only the English resident being able to access priority delivery slots. 

At the time of writing, supermarkets in Northern Ireland and Scotland were yet to receive a list of high-risk people that have been told to shield. 

We want to know if you’ve been offered a delivery slot, if you were able to actually book one, and where you are. Which supermarket has contacted you, if any?

Do you know how to get the help you need?

The Which? retail team has been keeping on top of the shifting sands of announcements from government and the supermarket industry, but we have at times been left scratching our heads. 

Were you asked to shield because you are extremely vulnerable? Were you expecting to receive a letter but didn’t? 

Was it made clear to you in the letter how to get help with getting food? Have you managed to get the support you need? Where did the support come from – the supermarkets, a free food box, the community, or somewhere else?

Are you vulnerable and unable to get a delivery slot? Have you had to go to the supermarket?

How to shop safely at the supermarket

There are a lot of outstanding questions, but the more answers we get the more we’ll be able to help and inform the most vulnerable.

Has registering as a vulnerable consumer made it any easier to get a supermarket delivery?
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Comments
Buggyman says:
1 July 2020

Hi,

My wife is ‘Shielded’ (62), I have Diabetes and so I am ‘Vulnerable'(65). As a result of this, and even if I was not Vulnerable, why would I go out and risk bringing Coronavirus back into a shielded household with the possible consequences? There is nowhere that this combination of circumstances is catered for.

We usually walk to our local Supermarket or shops for any shopping, mainly as a form of exercise and so had no previous need for Supermarket accounts.

Foolishly, but honestly (we know of some who weren’t!), we told the truth when my Wife signed up on the Government Database and said that if needed, we could get someone to pick up shopping for us. As a result, this seems to have precluded us from quickly getting any priority access to obtain an Account and therefore Click and Collect or Deliveries (except Iceland, who were/are exceptional).

As a result of this, our Children had to either shop for us, or, Click and Collect once we could get a slot. Our big fear here was that they catch Coronavirus and pass this along to our Grandchildren while doing our shopping. I know and accept that we are not a ‘high priority’, but think of the extra anxiety this has caused us with many households who have not been needing to shield getting their deliveries.

Once we managed to get accounts, the only shop that has given us priority access is Iceland. With Asda, there was no chance except Click and Collect and once we managed to get a Sainsburys Account, we have managed to get a delivery for the last 5 weeks.

My point is that there is a group of people who have been completely missed in the Government planning to support Vulnerable Households. As a result of this, these households are either struggling to get deliveries, or have to send other people out (who may also be trying to self-isolate).

Our children tell us of the current situation going on in some of the shops. Nice and organised outside, free-for-all inside. They now refuse to shop in these places!!

Brigid says:
6 July 2020

I really relate to this. My partner is shielded, on 24 hour oxygen, I have moderate underlying health problems but even if I was completely healthy I would not go to the shops because I don’t want to bring the virus home. Like you we didn’t know how to get a delivery at first. A neighbour offered to shop for us which was very kind but luckily we found the Co Op, Iceland and Fair trade online companies we continue to rely on. We didn’t need to let them know we were shielded. I think the bigger supermarkets could learn from them.

Jane says:
2 July 2020

Two weeks ago (mid June) I found out that to get on the vulnerable list you Also needed to register with Gov.uk website. Having the letter isn’t sufficient. My parents who are in their 80s and also both suffer with heart conditions and diabetes received the shielding letter and struggle to get their normal reoccurring delivery, to be told by the supermarket that they weren’t considered vulnerable.

Eileen Clarke says:
7 July 2020

Having registered my husband online and via telephone after receiving letters from government and NHS as he was registered extremely vulnerable ,we were unable to get supermarket slots.We were told he did not appear on the identified list.I rang our local MP office and informed many had the same problem.After a 4 week period of ringing Sainsburys and Tesco,Tesco’s granted us a priority slot.Obviously some problem with those identified on the vulnerable list being accurately put on the supermarket lists.It was a stressful time for us initially as we had to rely on dwindling food cupboard supplies and help from my sons.

Serena says:
3 July 2020

I work in a small care home in Hampshire and we normally get supermarket deliveries 2 times a week. Like the experience of Sue and her mother, Tesco suddenly stopped our deliveries and staff were forced to take time out of caring to go and shop for food at the height of the pandemic, and risk bringing it back into the Care Home. Unfortunately Coronavirus did get into the home in spite of stringent hygiene and PPE. We can’t say it was because of this but it was just an added risk factor at a very stressful time for Care Staff.

Mike Keating says:
6 July 2020

Despite being 78 and 73, we were unable to get a delivery slot until 8 weeks into the lockdown, and then it contained substitutions and omissions we were not told about. We live in a very rural area, 12+ miles to the nearest supermarket, and it is not surprising the local delivery services were overwhelmed. We are able to get out, so made 2 `emergency’ shopping trips a week. We really need a national coordinated delivery service at a time like this, rather than relying on individual shops that take no account of one another.

Anne says:
6 July 2020

My husband is shielding, and despite being a Tesco online customer for 20 years, and having a current delivery saver plan, we have had problems getting delivery slots. We registered on the government website, but as we did not want a food box, we did not tick the box saying we needed one. As a result, when I called Tesco they said we weren’t on their list for priority.
After many frustrating and worrying weeks, of staying up until midnight & logging on several times a day to try to grab a weekly slot whenever I could, I finally read on Which’s website that we needed to effectively request a food parcel – which I then did. We had a food parcel delivered – which was completely unnecessary – but we did finally get onto the supermarkets priority lists as a result. I have to say that it made virtually no difference at all with Tesco, and I still was constantly having to hunt for slots – the only slight difference was that sometimes I might be able to get the usual hourly slot, and other times, I might have had a 6 hour window!
Luckily, because I had also occasionally shopped online with Asda, they also then offered us priority slots, and have given us a free delivery pass, with a guaranteed regular weekly slot. This was a huge relief after having spent about 8 weeks constantly worrying about when I would get the next delivery slot. I think Asda’s response was fantastic, and I can’t understand why the other supermarkets can’t do something similar.
I also think the government website to register is extremely misleading – many people will not understand that they need to effectively request a food parcel in order to even get a priority delivery slot.

Robert Chapman says:
6 July 2020

Asda was the only store here in Torquay that gave us a regular slot. Without them I really don’t know what we would do. With Sainsburys and Waitrose in Exeter it was extremely difficult to get anything.

I received a letter telling me to shield. For the first month I was getting up in the middle of the night trying to get delivery slots and found a number of different alternative suppliers as supermarkets proved so difficult. I did not initially register online as the form required me to claim that I needed free food boxes delivered – no alternative simply asking for priority slots with supermarkets. Then I had a brainwave and contacted the trade magazine The Grocer. I was so frustrated by then by the supermarkets writing and telling me by email how they were looking after the vulnerable but there I was both vulnerable (aged 71) and extremely vulnerable (asthma) but unable to get slots. A journalist did some research and found out that I needed to claim free food boxes as this was the only way to be prioritised by supermarkets – he interviewed me and wrote it up in one or two articles. Within a week of completing the form I started to be able to get priority slots. It took many weeks to persuade the suppliers to stop delivering free food boxes to me. I felt guilty knowing that there are a lot of hungry families who cannot afford to buy enough food and I was getting free food when I could afford to buy. So I made monetary donations to the local food bank to salve my conscience. Whilst I was impressed that the boxes were quickly organised I thought the food was extremely unsuitable for a cohort which was probably mainly older people. It was mostly tins and most items had added sugar. Fresh were very large rather manky carrots & onions and a huge bag of earthy large potatoes, a few tangerines or similar and some coxes. It always included rice and pasta (which make sugar and so not good for an age group inclined towards diabetes). Bread was always large white sliced. I realise there was no incentive for the firm delivering to me to reduce their numbers/earnings by stopping. I cannot understand why I read that this contract was awarded to a single French company without going out to tender. Would the French government have behaved like this towards a British company?

Thanks for sharing this, Hazel. It seems very strange that anyone should have to accept free food to be given priority, but this fits in with other information that I have heard. You are right about rice and pasta, though wholemeal versions are better. If you were given white bread I doubt that the food boxes would have wholemeal pasta or rice. 🙁 I’m impressed that you supported the local food bank in the circumstances.

My understanding is that for an asthmatic to be classed as ‘extremely vulnerable’ an asthmatic would have to be taking oral steroids either continuously or frequently, but this has not been properly explained.

Jenny Basham says:
6 July 2020

Iceland were the first to help, and still offer slots that are usually available the next day. Really useful, good service. We had one family member contacted by Tesco as vulnerable and she started ordering online for herself, her in laws and us – juggling the (then) 80 item limit between three households. After about a month I managed to speak to Tesco, explained our ages (70+) and disability as well as the three household sharing and they gave us priority slots which we are using on a fortnightly basis. However, you need to book your slot three weeks in advance and place items in your basket whilst you still have an outstanding delivery. Took a bit of getting used to but now just routine. Sainsbury’s, however, where we used to do our shopping were useless, despite numerous emails in the past offering incentives to use the delivery service, all help was suddenly withdrawn. No reply to emails, Twitter or phones answered. Felt abandoned by a brand we had used regularly. Just waiting to use the £70 of Nectar points before abandoning Sainsbury’s.

I totally agree with your comments about the obstructive, awkward and often abusive Sainsbury approach – I have stopped wasting my time with them – was last offered a delivery slot beginning of March but since then nothing. I hope everyone reading these comments remembers just how bad most large “supermarkets” have been treating their (former) customers ( Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda ) – I will certainly return their attitude “with bells on” once all these coronavirus restrictions dissappear – as they will eventually ! I remain a great believer in spending my money only where it suits ME ! I am 74 and a diabetic – and angry !

It surprised me how appallingly Sainsbury’s has managed this crisis. Frequent emails from their CEO promising the Earth were in stark contrast to the reality on the ground.

My nomination for poor management goes to Ocado. I registered on 23 March but have not had the opportunity to place a single order since then. Imagine if every supermarket had decided to support only those customers who had placed orders before.

I cannot comment on Sainsbury because they don’t seem to deliver round here, unless they use unbranded vans.

Morrisons does best round here and I can now have a click & collect slot at no cost any time between 8 and 26 July. There are plenty of delivery slots too, though there is a charge of £2 to £6.50. They have moved on so much since the early days of the lockdown when it was difficult or impossible to obtain a slot.

RAs the delivery service capacity was limited – from memory geared up to around 7% of supermarket sales – a sudden jump to around 35% ( I’m speaking from a fragile memory so please don’t pull me up on the actual number 🙁 ) – would be impossible to handle. I assume a major factor would be lack of delivery vans.

Click and collect should have been better arranged. I suspect many people could have used this and helped their neighbours as well.

Maybe some delivery companies could have taken the initiative and helped supermarkets deliver orders that did not include frozen food? Amazon, for example?

Our local Morrisons does not use a van for click & collect orders. You simply park in one of the bays near the back door, click on a text message or email to say you have arrived and a member of staff brings crates of food etc. on a trolley. Unfortunately the spacing of the parking bays is too close for my idea of social distancing, which is why I prefer going to Tesco.

The supermarkets could have asked us to use click & collect if possible and to help neighbours to free up vans for those who need deliveries. At least some of the supermarkets have increased their fleet of vehicles and the only Waitrose delivery I have managed to get was in a plain white van. I could get Waitrose click & collect slots but customers are expected to go into the store, which may be why delivery slots are so hard to find.

The problem with. using couriers is that normal supermarket delivery vans are refrigerated.

Overall, the supermarkets seem to have responded well to greatly increased demands on their services but which supermarket has done best seems to depend on where you live.

I did say “Maybe some delivery companies could have taken the initiative and helped supermarkets deliver orders that did not include frozen food?

Where the supermarket has an adjacent car park I would have thought that would have provided a means to click and collect. Maybe an umbrella needed. Perhaps just choose a parking bay not close to someone else, although using a mask and being outside should not [pose to much if a risk, and I’d have thought even with adjacent parking bays you could keep at least 2m distant from another shopper. Many people respect social distancing, as I have seen when out walking.

Having only used the Tesco click & collect system, which (locally at least) provides excellent distancing, I was unprepared for what to expect at Morrisons. Had they blocked off alternate bays, as our Tesco has done, that would have done the trick.

Wavechange, Ocado differs from other supermarkets inasmuch as they only operate a delivery service, whereas the other supermarkets have stores with click and collect and footfall for people to visit who were not regarded as very high risk by the government.

Problems arose when people who are normally able to travel to shop at a supermarket decided to have their food delivered, which Ocado found too overwhelming and unable to meet the high demand. This resulted in the regular dependent Ocado customers with accounts, suddenly bereft of vital food supplies. Even after the government notification letter, Ocado continued to struggle for a short period. to meet the high demand from its regulars.

I am happy to report as an Ocado customer with an account and also in receipt of the government letter I am now being offered weekly deliveries on a regular basis.

I do understand this, Beryl, but we all have to eat. Imagine what would have happened if all the supermarkets had decided to ignore customers who did not have accounts so that their existing customers could carry on as normal.

This was a different kind of emergency for which the country was totally unprepared. It was sudden, people were instructed to stay at home, and it rapidly covered the entire country.

I doubt if any forward planning by the food retailers would have made much difference. The only thing that might have ensured an adequate, timely and equitable distribution of essential food would have been the government taking over complete control but the government does not have the resources to do that. Comparisons have been made with rationing in the Second World War, but, by the time war was declared in 1939, the country had been on a war footing for some time with extensive preparations already in place.

Overall, I think the supermarkets have done a very good job and there is evidence that they have been flexible enough to eventually include those who had been left off the priority lists. There has been a lot of individual difficulty, and the retailers’ policies were far from clear most of the time, but within a few weeks things settled down and mass starvation has been avoided; indeed, by all appearances most people seem to have managed to maintain their previous calorie intake and food preferences which would certainly not have been the case under a rationing scheme.

There was an unfortunate lack of coordination between the supermarkets but that was understandable given that they were still trying to trade as independent commercial competitors. The distribution of superstores and smaller food outlets is a product of the vagaries of commercial competition, opportunity and the town planning system rather than a rational allocation according to priorities. Panic buying and hoarding also upset the applecart and gave the companies unnecessary stock worries when their minds should have been focussed on supplying the regular needs efficiently.

What has astonished me is the proportion of the population that is suffering from a variety of medical conditions that make them very vulnerable to a viral infection like coronavirus. That completely changes the fundamentals in any planning scenario and needs to be taken on board for future reference. The general interpretation of the government advice to stay at home except for essential food and medical supplies was, understandably, to take an even more cautious approach and avoid any sort of shopping. This put pressure on delivery systems and there is no doubt they struggled to cope in the early days and the situation is still not normal after three months.

I can empathise with everyone who had trouble receiving vital food supplies Wavechange, as I was also one of them and had to rely on neighbours to help out on many occasions.

All the other supermarkets had alternative means of food supply as well as deliveries to ease the high demand, whereas Ocado doesn’t. People were using Ocado when they didn’t need to and never had to in the past. which created shortages for those who have long term dependency upon food deliveries to eat and who probably had an existing account with Ocado.

If you were in a similar situation, who would you prioritise, your regular and proven needy account holders or people who had the choice to shop and had always had the choice to shop elsewhere in the past?

All the online supermarkets could have limited deliveries to once every 10-14 days during the initial high demand, allowing more people to be served. Ocado was the first company I registered with because they regularly provide free delivery vouchers. I have not been allowed a single slot to date, after registering in March. I’m OK now thanks to the other supermarkets but it was very difficult to start with.

John raised an important point that many people are more vulnerable because of health conditions. Could the pandemic maybe convince those with self-inflicted obesity, for example, to change their habits?

Supermarkets did, I believe, do a good job under the circumstances, given they were faced with an unprecedented demand on their stocks and delivery service. We, as consumers, created a problem by over-buying and expecting a delivery service at five times the norm. Perhaps we also share some of the blame for a disrupted supply chain?

Mrs Gill Thompson says:
6 July 2020

I am 72, recently widowed, and have 14 different health conditions including diabetes (Type 2, insulin controlled). I am also severely severely disabled – I use a walking frame in the house and a wheelchair outisde the house. I cannot get out of the house on my own and I cannot even get into the garden on my own so I have been totally housebound since lockdown started. I am waiting for a ramp to be installed so that I can get out of the house. However, despite this accumulation of problems I cannot managet to get a priority online delivery slot at any onlinesupermarket. I really do not understand why this combination of problems does not mean that I am in high need of help. My sister who is shielding because of one of the tablets she is on, but has her husband and son at home who can do shopping for her can get supermarket deliveries but me who really does need online deliveries because I am single and severely disabled cannot – how is that at all fair or caring about people like me?

You are right Gill – it certainly does sound very wrong. May I suggest you phone your GPs’ surgery and tell them about your difficulties – insist on talking to your actual “Doctor” if “Reception” tries to brush you off – they do have access to help for you and I would be VERY surprised if they refuse to help you ( there are some arrogant lefty types still in employment within the NHS who could be unhelpful, but most of these have been weeded out over the last few years – Thank God ! ) Good Luck !

Marian Gaff says:
7 July 2020

I used online grocery shopping before Covid19 because I am a wheelchair user who lives alone and most of my local shops are not accessible. Since then, I had only been able to place an order after midnight and then wait three weeks for delivery. Now, I still have to wait three weeks, but can order anytime, but I’m moving to another supermarket nevertheless.

CAROL SIMMS says:
9 July 2020

I now use Amazon food online because of a similar problem, you can get smaller shops too but watch the dates!

Ed says:
7 July 2020

I have found no difficulty with getting slots from either Tescos or Waitrose. I simply book a slot every week for delivery two weeks ahead.

Carol says:
7 July 2020

I personally went into self isolation a few days prior to the lockdown and tried unsuccessfully to obtain a supermarket delivery slot with any of the supermarkets within my area. On the 1st April during a telephone consultation with my consultant, he advised that, I should have received a shielding letter and that I should register on the government website. Which I did and waited, mid April I received a shielding letter dated the 8th April. Still unable to get a supermarket delivery and with increasing anxiety over food shopping I was fortunate to receive a wellbeing call, the lady said that she would advise the supermarkets that I am shielding and arranged for a food parcel to be delivered to me. I was thankful for the food parcels which arrived for the next few weeks. Eventually I was registered for priority supermarket slots, therefore on a second wellbeing call I felt able to cancel the food parcels. I received a second shielding letter extending my shielding period for a further 12 weeks. Now that the government are due to stop shielding support from the 1st August I am particularly concerned that the priority supermarket deliveries may stop and that I will again be left without support to obtain essential food supplies. With an extremely suppressed immune system I do not feel able to go to the supermarket myself to buy groceries. I have fed back my concerns to the supermarket and am yet to receive an acknowledgement. This is a very worrying time for me and many other people who are currently in the shielding group.

andrea rodgers says:
8 July 2020

No despite having heart decease and pneumonia and sepsis i have not been able to get a slot anywhere despite Sainsbury’s promising a slot i have had to go out and shop otherwise starve.

Andrea, please see my comment below, the next one down. I hope this helps. It should be possible to ring the Co-op (see my point 3.) and get them to register you as vulnerable, then ring in orders by phone and have them delivered, as my extremely vulnerable friend does.
Or if you are able to place orders on the internet, then you can firstly ring Tesco (see my point 1.), i.e. do as I have done, register by phone with them as vulnerable, then you get Priority slots on their website. I guess you would need to register as a customer with Tesco of course, at present I see you are with Sainsburys. It can’t hurt to ring Tesco and ask. You will have to wait a while on the phone, but I hope you manage to get prioritised in this way.
See also my point (2.) about getting free Tesco deliveries.
I hope all of this will help you, Andrea!

Even better, Andrea, you could contact NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646. (Please see my 2nd post below for more info.) They can do some shopping, and collect medications, for people such as yourself, to avoid the need to go out of your home. I think this will really help you.

Thanks for your recent posts, Trevor. There are also local Mutual Aid groups that can help, providing that you have one nearby: https://covidmutualaid.org

Andrea, I sympathise with your unfortunate situation. I hope you are able to secure a slot soon. If you really have to go out, please make sure you wear suitable face protection. Trevor Hancock in his comments below has come up with some very good advice to follow – thanks Trevor.

1. I was having difficulty getting a Tesco delivery slot (I had used these deliveries for a long time, up to the present situation). So I rang Tesco and asked if I could be registered as vulnerable with them. They asked why and so I told them – I had recently had an operation, which compromised my system to some extent. They asked just one more question – whether I had anyone else who could do all of my shopping. I said no. They immediately registered me as vulnerable, with no further questions. After probably 2 or 3 days, after logging into the Tesco website, I started seeing “Priority” slots as the 2nd delivery option. Although I sometimes have to book a slot a few days ahead, sometimes a week or more, after placing my order I often re-visit, and twice have been able to bring forward my delivery date. I really have to mention all of this here, because of the apparent difficulty some people have. JUST RING TESCO AND ASK TO BE REGISTERED WITH THEM AS VULNERABLE. They will do this.
2. The other thing I have to say, is that if you have a few pounds in Tesco Clubcard vouchers, you [or a friend can do this for you] can convert these into electronic coupons on the website and pay for Delivery Saver with these (the website knows about your vouchers, you don’t have to physically find them!) – the cash value of the Clubcard vouchers is tripled (3x) when paying for Delivery Saver! This means you can get free deliveries, so long as you always get at least £40 (I think) worth of goods. I have done this now for probably 2 or 3 years, and have Anytime Same Day Delivery Saver (7 days a week including later in the same day) completely for free, by using Clubcard vouchers in this way! The Same Day feature might be suspended for now, but will return. I am sure all of this will help people if (this is addressed to the Which staff) you publicise these facts!!!!!
3. Also I have a friend who is registered in a similar way with the Co-op, all he needs to do is to ring in his order, he doesn’t need to use the internet. I think the deliveries are free, as an extremely vulnerable person.

To get help with shopping and collection of medicines if you are vulnerable or shielding, ring NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646. They should ring you within about a day, and will assign a Volunteer Responder to you, if you have a need for shopping to be done etc. He/she can do some shopping and collect prescription medicines for you. We have used this service now for some weeks, to collect medicines, and also for odd bits of essential shopping (e.g. milk and bread) which run out between our Tesco Priority slots (these are also easy to get if you ring Tesco and get registered with them as vulnerable. please see my other post above). I really hope this helps. The NHS Volunteer Responder service was set up to get this kind of task done for people WITHOUT them needing to leave their homes. I do not see why anyone should not want to use this service! We were told about it by a chemist, when a prescription had to be sent to this chemist who could not deliver to us.

Anna Withers says:
9 July 2020

I am 72 and live alone. In March 2020 I was trapped aboard a cruise ship in South America which suffered an outbreak of the virus . When we eventually managed to fly home the US authorities instructed us to quarantine for a fortnight (the British authorities gave us no instructions at all). I tried repeatedly to get a supermarket delivery slot, but had no success whatever. In early April there were no slots until the end of June. Towards the end of April, I managed to phone Sainsbury’s, who were happy to give me a slot until it transpired that I had not shopped online with them before. Because of this they would not register me. People needing to quarantine seem to have been entirely overlooked by the current government and supermarket schemes. This needs to be addressed in case of future lockdowns or individual requirements to self-isolate as a result of the test and trace programme.

Hi Anna, have you tried registering as vulnerable with Tesco? I don’t know whether or not they have the same condition as Sainsbury’s. Worth trying – and the Co-op too, who are very good. Also the NHS Volunteer Responders. All useful for people on their own and “of an age”! For further details please see my posts above, and that of “wavechange” too. Best wishes, Trevor

CAROL SIMMS says:
9 July 2020

That’s a good idea, Tony Hancock, I was lucky I had some help from my sister. and hubby. I still did it all myself. I now use a mixture of Amazon, as I use the TV dongle Firefox online and get through Amazon food. Its brought to me locally in paper bags. It’s fine as long as You can freeze it all. So far not too many orders. Always keep up with orders. 🙂 Oh and the supermarket too. £40

C Ralphs says:
10 July 2020

I live with elderly parents and my Dad who is 83 is considered clinically vulnerable as he has COPD, they were unable to register for Sainsburys home deliveries (they regularly ONLY shop in-store) at the start of lockdown. So as a stop gap my niece did their groceries shopping at Morrisons Online for them every fortnight which was delivered to her house or sometimes to ours). There will be those that will say I as a middle aged person should’ve done their shopping in-store for them, but as Dad has COPD I was being super careful and not really going into shops very often to protect my Dad. I was going into our local Savers for essentials which I still do and more frequently now. In the meantime my Dad received a letter from the government to tell him that he was classed as clinically vulnerable and to shield himself, as my mum and Dad were able to get groceries via my niece he did not sign up for the priority delivery slot option. A month or so after the first letter he received a second letter to tell him to he should now fill the form in on the government website re supermarket priority. He did fill the form in and did NOT tick the Yes box for extra help for supermarket shopping (as he was being honest). The government has also to share some of the blame, he wasted his time filling in the online form as because of our fortuitous situation we didn’t require help to obtain our groceries. But his frustration has been immense as all they wanted to do he felt was something simple i.e. to register for a new online grocery account with Sainsburys. Throughout lockdown my niece has continued ordering for us, and Mum who is nearly 80 has also gone into our Sainsbury’s local a couple of times a week for essentials. We all know that the pandemic caught everyone by surprise, and we have been ok for food unlike so many others. They have also been able to register now for Sainsburys and have had their first order delivered this week, but as far as the supermarkets are concerned all these steps took far too long to help some and as we read it totally miss out so many extra vulnerable people ie. those that live alone, are blind etc. I still feel that this situation may reoccur with the pandemic as it may well spike again and hope that the government and supermarkets are now fully up to speed.

Heather says:
14 July 2020

I’m not in the extremely vulnerable group but do get a flu jab for health reasons, so I am “high risk”. I do not want to go into shops at all, but there was no way to get any kind of priority despite the official advice to be very cautious.

Organising food delivery was definitely the most stressful thing for me over the early part of lock-down. In those early days, I over-ordered when I could get a slot (the much-maligned “hoarding”) because I had no idea when I would be able to get another. I ended up setting my alarm for midnight so that I could book a Tesco delivery slot 3 weeks away. If you waited until the morning, there were no slots left. During that time, I could not get a Sainsburys or Morrison delivery slot at all. Things have eased slightly now, so I can bag a Tesco delivery slot at 7am instead of midnight, but I am still booking them 3 weeks ahead, as it’s the only way I can get them. Sainsbury’s & Morrisons are offering some delivery slots now, so it is definitely easier than it was.

I also volunteered for a local mutual aid group (on the phone, helping to match volunteers to requests for help). It was astonishing & wonderful to see how many people volunteered to help (hundreds of them). But it was sad to call people about their requests and time & again find elderly folk at their wits’ end, in the same group as myself (not high enough risk to warrant priority but high enough risk not to want to go to shops, or unable to stand in a queue for hours waiting for their turn). Thank goodness for the volunteers who did their shopping and delivered it to them.