BBC Panorama explores the coronavirus fears of some of the UK’s most vulnerable

Missing out on vital care and being pushed to the back of the queue for life-saving treatment are concerning the 1.5 million Britons most vulnerable to contracting coronavirus, according to a new programme.

The BBC TV Panorama documentary team has spoken with people including cancer patients and those with compromised immune systems about their biggest fears amid the pandemic.

Nic Murray was diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 bowel cancer a year ago and is currently self-isolating with his wife Danielle, and two-year-old son, Ezra.

His chemotherapy has been stopped for the next three months because it increases his risk of catching coronavirus.

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Coronavirus cases in the UK. See story HEALTH Coronavirus. Infographic PA Graphics

In an interview conducted through a window, Mr Murray said of the prospect of dying: "I'm not ready yet and I feel that potentially having this treatment taken away, it's stealing some time. I haven't got a lot."

Recently published ethical guidelines suggest terminally ill patients may be treated as low priority as health services concentrate on dealing with coronavirus cases.

In response, Mr Murray said: "In the worst-case scenario if I was to become affected, there's a shortage in ventilators, I'm probably going to be at the back of the queue, knowing that this guy's not got much longer anyway."

Mr Murray has not been told by the Government if he is classed as one of the most vulnerable.

He believes this is because only one million out of the 1.5 million at risk people have been notified.

He said: "At the moment we're really struggling to get food deliveries. All the websites are either down or you can only log on if you're classed as vulnerable."

In response, the Government told Panorama that people should speak to their doctor.

The programme also spoke to former Britain's Got Talent contestant Paula Moulton.

Ms Moulton has complex medical needs and relies on support from carers who come twice a day.

"The first hint about how bad it was going to get was when I got told by my GP that, 'you do realise that if you get this bug it will kill you?'," Ms Moulton said.

"There wasn't any 'if, buts or maybe', this will kill you if you get it."

She is concerned about what will happen if her support team contract the virus.

Ms Moulton said: "What if the carers can't come in? Because if the carers don't come in I can't get up."

Another of those most at risk is five-year-old Ted, who has cystic fibrosis and has been told to stay at home to 'shield' from coronavirus.

He is living with his mother, Fiona, in their family home whilst his older siblings have gone to stay with grandparents.

His father is living in a caravan at the bottom of the garden so he can go and get food and medicine.

The family celebrated Ted's fifth birthday through the window as they were not able to be together.

Ted's mother Fiona said: "It could very, very easily be life threatening for someone like Ted. As a mother it makes you feel like there's not a lot you can do, really.

"I'm terrified of what's going on. I'm frightened because it doesn't even bear thinking about."

BBC Panorama Coronavirus: The Most at Risk is available on iPlayer.

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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
A road sign advising drivers to stay home and not to travel during the Easter Weekend on the M80 near Banknock as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Adverts encouraging people to stay at home are displayed in an empty Picadilly Circus, as the UK continues its lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Empty streets and boarded up shops, restaurants and theatres on Old Compton Street in Soho, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A teenager draws a rainbow and an NHS logo on the wall of her house in Liverpool in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A police officer talks to members of the public about adhering to social distancing guidelines in Northampton, as Northants Police announce they are toughening up their social distancing enforcement, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
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An image of Queen Elizabeth II and quotes from her Corona epidemic broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth is displayed in Piccadilly Circus, London. Picture date: Wednesday 8th April 2020. Photo credit should read: David Jensen/ EMPICS Entertainment
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Three police officers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, visit a home in Brixton, south London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Monday April 6, 2020.
A woman jogging on the Millennium Bridge in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
John Fowler of IHP at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre in Manchester, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Picture taken at 1046am of Military personnel help administer Covid19 tests for NHS workers at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman walks past a boarded up restaurant in Edinburgh's Old Town as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Dog walkers maintain social distancing at Blyth beach near Whitley Bay in Northern England as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The BT tower screens a message encouraging people to stay at home, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
General view of a visibly quiet Westminster Bridge in London, UK on April 6, 2020. Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital for undergoing tests after suffering 'persistent' symptoms of coronavirus for 10 days, this evening Prime Minister Johnson condition worsened and he was taken to intensive care. There have been almost 50,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and almost 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
The National Gallery is closed to the public due to the spread of coronavirus. Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work. Around 50,000 reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom and 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Rahman Hassani / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Robin Smith, 20 exercises at Endcliffe park in Sheffield. The British Government imposed nationwide lockdown to minimise the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Photo by Yiannis Alexopoulos / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Beach patrol speak with a member of the public while patrolling the seafront in Brighton, East Sussex, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.
File photo dated 27/03/20 of a rainbow made from bottle caps in Muston, Leicestershire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Queen Elizabeth II gave a televised message to the nation during the coronavirus outbreak.
People buy ice creams on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public sunbathe in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police move on sunbathers in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Cyclists by the river Avon in a near-deserted Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A 'Please stay 2 metres apart' sign on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public exercise on Primrose Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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