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Topics relating to vulnerable people

The information on this page was compiled before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has had a significant impact on many aspects of daily life.  Data and intelligence are emerging all the time about the effects of the virus and the measures taken to control its spread.  Accordingly, we will update this page as relevant information becomes available.

There is no single way of defining if someone is vulnerable across public services and there has been a shift away from defining vulnerability based on personal characteristics to a focus instead on the circumstances that make an individual vulnerable and the support activities required.  For example a person may be vulnerable if in receipt of social care or while in hospital, if disabled, with a long-term health problem, in a domestic abuse situation, or becomes homeless or if their home is flooded.  These circumstances may not be long-term.  For further information on defining vulnerability see the discussion document in the 'related documents' box.