Covid-19: Shielding / Very High Risk Patients

Updated Guidance for Shielded Patients – 5/1/21

What has changed

COVID-19 case numbers are now very high and rising rapidly across the country, driven by the new variant of COVID-19.

Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the new national lockdown guidance, which has been set out by the government and applies to the whole population. These restrictions:

  1. Require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  2. Prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.
  4. Support children and young people to learn remotely until February half term, except for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers who may still attend school.

The new information below includes additional guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people, to help protect you from COVID-19. We will also write to you with a version of this guidance.

These new formal shielding measures will apply across the whole of England during the period of national lockdown.

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for adults, and children and young people aged 0 to 18 who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

For the latest guidance please visit the following sources:

GOV.UK – for the latest updates on shielding guidance from Public Health England, as well as information on the Government support offer for those on the Shielded Patients List (SPL).

NHS.UK – provides patient-facing information on health services and medical conditions.

NHS Volunteer Responders – the NHS is also providing further support to those at highest clinical risk via the GoodSam App and NHS Volunteer Responders. People who are shielding can request support from the NHS Volunteer Responders by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. This service will not replace any local voluntary referral schemes already established but will complement these.

Who are shielding patients

People most at risk from coronavirus are sometimes called “shielded” or “extremely vulnerable” people. This includes people who:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having certain types of cancer treatment
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma •have a condition or are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections
  • are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

If you feel you should be registered as a shielded patient please call 0800 028 8327 or register via website

Patients that fall into the “shielded” or “extremely vulnerable” category can expect the following support from the government:

  • Essential grocery supplies – a free, standardised weekly parcel of food and household essentials, as well as priority delivery slots with supermarkets (currently only available to those who are already registered with the supermarket in question);
  • Medicines – arrangements to have medicines delivered to people’s homes by local community pharmacies and dispensing doctors; and
  • Social contact and basic needs – for example, emotional or social support such as people to talk to on the phone or via a computer (If you need help looking after your mental health click here)