DISABLED people who were “forgotten” during the first lockdown must be supported, according to a Glasgow academic.

Paul Pearson, a PHD researcher at Glasgow University conducted research into the people who had chosen to shield due to disability during the first lockdown but who had not been told to do so by the government.

He found that this group, which he calls “forgotten shielders” had experienced difficulty in accessing food delivery services and faced disruption to their usual day-to-day support.

During the first lockdown, which began in March, people shielding were given priority access to online food delivery.

People who were over the age of 70 or who suffered from certain health problems were told not to leave the house for months after the first national lockdown in March.

Mr Pearson said: “Food security is one of the most basic rights people should have.

“What this research shows is that disabled people and those living with long-term health conditions struggled greatly with accessing food during the lockdown.

“‘Forgotten shielders’ - those with health problems which forced them to isolate but were not officially shielding – had many of their basic needs not met during the restrictions.

“Now that similar restrictions are in place, urgent action must be taken to coordinate a response across government and supermarkets to ensure that this vulnerable constituency of people have their needs met this time.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We are asking everyone to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS.

“We recognise how hard that is for those who are particularly vulnerable. That’s why we strongly welcome this research as it helps us all make sure people get the support they need.

“Help is available, not least through the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000. That will put people in touch with their local authority who can provide help with accessing food and other practical support.”