The government have expanded the group of people who are identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (shielding). This group now includes patients identified by the government’s new Covid-19 Population Risk Assessment tool (Q-Covid). This calculates your risk not just according to your medical conditions, but also by factors such as your age, weight, gender, ethnicity and postcode.
This means some people with no diagnosed medical problems may be added to the list because these other features are what are increasing your risk. It also explains why some, but not all, patients with a particular condition are being advised to shield, for example women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus.
If you are one of these patients, you will get a letter from the government, explaining what this means for you.
The changes are still working their way through our systems. All newly identified shielding patients are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine as a priority and we will be inviting you as soon as we can. Please visit our Covid Vaccine programme update page for more information about when you will be called for your vaccine. Remember, it is important that you wait for us to contact you. This helps us keep our normal service going and to get to you sooner.
If you have questions about the new shielding changes, for now please avoid contacting us by phone, to keep the lines free for patients with medical problems. Instead, try visiting the government website as this has the most current information about the changes and what it means to be on the shielding list at:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/ . If you still need to discuss something with us, then please use the ‘Contact Us’ facility on this website instead of phoning. Please allow 1 working week for us to get back to you. It is an individual’s choice whether to shield or not and receiving a letter does not in itself place anynew legal obligation on you.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). We know this condition has caused some uncertainty in the new shielding list. A very small number of women with GDM in the past may have been defined as needing to shield incorrectly if their record was tagged with Diabetes (the permanent version) rather than GDM (which only lasts during pregnancy). If you think this might have happened in your case, please use the Contact us facility on this website to let us know. We will then review your records and contact you with further advice within a working week.
We will continue to update this page as soon as we have more information