Many people reading this are still waiting for the arrival of a government/NHS letter advising them about being put on a “shielded patients list”. You are not alone. We are aware of other people who have spent days chasing their doctor’s surgeries to find out what is going on and how to get on the list.
The shielded patient list (formerly known as the vulnerable patient list) means that the NHS can identify and contact a group of patients who need specific advice about their circumstances. Unfortunately, the way the list is being compiled is not straight-forward and that is leading to delays. It has been suggested that GPs themselves are just finding out which parts of the system are working and others which are not.
In the circumstances it would be sensible to re-advise villagers who have one of the serious underlying health conditions listed below or who think they fall into the extremely vulnerable category, and have not received a letter or been contacted by their GP to:
- rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe;
- register at uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable , and;
- discuss their concerns with their GP or hospital clinician.
The extremely vulnerable category includes:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Anyone who believes they fall into the extremely vulnerable category should follow the advice on 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 .
Please do not delay. Make sure you get “ahead of the curve” by taking direct action today.