Advice on accessing supermarket delivery slots

We are grateful to Lucy from LPK Learning for sharing her experience and information from helping her friends and family who are shielding to get supermarket home deliveries. We hope this will be valuable to you and those you are supporting.

If you have been told to shield by the government, you should be able to access online deliveries by the supermarkets. Unfortunately though it seems that sometimes there can be a break in the link.

My message to you is don’t give up! Having helped a number of family members and friends, I know it is possible!

It is completely unacceptable not to be able to have the independence to order your own food if you are able to and I want to help others get to the bottom of the system!

First of all, as stated on the letter you will have received, your current situation needs to be registered with government. This can be done through the government website at

If not online, there is an automated telephone service on 0800 028 8327 where you can register easily by answering a few questions.

If the person shielding is unable to use the website or telephone service, it can be done by someone else for them.

If you have already tried this, do it again. It can be completed more than once and whenever circumstances change.

There are a number of questions but the important thing to trigger the government to put you on the list for supermarkets, is the question about having a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment. This needs to be answered “No” in order to be put on the list which goes to the supermarkets.

Don’t be afraid to register your details again. If for whatever reason the correct information has not got through before, submit it again.

Once registration is complete, you will not get a confirmation but as long as the criteria are met, the government should then send details to the supermarkets to ensure that you are added to the priority lists they hold.

Different supermarkets have different systems but all of them rely on data from the government to identify those who are extremely vulnerable and who should be made a priority for home delivery during this time.

Sainsbury’s seem to operate a process where they will make contact by letter but Tesco appears to have a quicker system where you can telephone them and they will put in a request to check details with the government list. On successful completion of this check, Tesco will then update their system within 24 hours and priority slots will then become visible to customers identified as vulnerable.

It is important to note that even if identified as priority by the supermarkets, delivery slots might still be difficult to find sometimes but by being registered as a priority, this should make it easier.

The supermarkets have increased their delivery service by a huge amount over the last few weeks and so it is important to keep checking back to see what is available as it changes all the time.

The important thing is not to give up! It is possible!

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