Changes to the Shielded Patient List and Clinically Extremely Vulnerable shielding

Up to 1.7 million people have been added to the shielding list as shielding guidance is extended to the 31st of March 2021. Clinically extremely vulnerable people who were advised to shield previously will receive letters advising of the extension.

A new, data-driven risk assessment, called the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment has been developed to help identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19.

It has been used at a national level to help establish a further 1.7 million patients with specific multiple risk factors which, combined, may put them at similar risk to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to severe outcomes. 

As a precautionary measure, the identified group has now been added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL), on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. 

Additionally, those who were already identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable have also been written to this week and asked to shield until the 31st of March 2021.

Guidance on shielding for clinically extremely vulnerable letter

Our guidance for this group of individuals has always been advisory, but I would strongly urge all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to take these extra precautions to keep themselves as safe as possible.
— Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries

COVID-19 vaccinations

Clinically extremely vulnerable adults are receiving priority access to vaccination against COVID-19 before the general population. The vaccine is likely to make an important contribution towards protecting you from COVID-19. People are being contacted about vaccinations by the NHS, but if you have not been offered a vaccination, we are now asking you to come forward to book a vaccination. The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service which can be accessed at

The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. If a suitable and convenient slot is not available, you can also call your GP practice

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and require support you can get help here 

Individuals in this group will be able to use an online service that will help people to request priority access to supermarket delivery slots and to inform their council they need help. NHS Volunteer Responders can also help with a regular, friendly phone call, and transport to and from medical appointments.

The clinically extremely vulnerable group includes those with reduced immune systems, for example, due to organ transplants, or those with specific cancers or severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. The group list is updated regularly as patients’ conditions or the scientific evidence changes, so the majority will have received a letter previously from the NHS or their GP advising them of their inclusion.

Due to new evidence about groups more likely to be at risk of serious illness from COVID-19, those with chronic kidney disease (stage 5) and those undergoing dialysis, as well as adults with Down’s Syndrome, are also being added to the shielding patient list by the NHS.

Those with more general underlying health conditions or who are 70 or over may still be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population, so are also advised to stay at home as much as possible, to carefully follow the rules, and minimise contact with others.

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