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.
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 www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
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
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.
This guidance will remain in place until 31 March 2021, when it will be reviewed.
For the latest guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19