Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the process is for NHS England's review of the existing criteria to determine who should receive letters asking them to shield at home as a result of covid-19.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Expert doctors in England identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we knew about the virus so far, place someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These were signed off by the UK Senior Clinicians Group (including four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers and clinical leadership at NHS England, NHS Digital, and Public Health England).

Shielding is an advisory measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. The Government’s position on shielding and social distancing is in line with the latest Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and clinical advice. The shielded patient list is dynamic as it allows for individual clinical decisions to be made about patients, and for it to evolve as evidence about COVID-19 develops.

General practitioners (GPs) and hospital specialists have been asked to recommend patients follow shielding guidance, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of each individual’s needs. GPs and hospital specialists have been provided with guidance to support these decisions. Anybody who is concerned should contact their GP or specialist to discuss further.

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