Coronavirus: Disease Control

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effects on people who have previously shielded of recent trends in the number of (a) daily covid-19 cases and (b) local covid-19 lockdowns.

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

The Shielded Patient List (SPL) is comprised of individuals nationally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable using clinical criteria based on data from general practitioner (GP) and hospital electronic records. The SPL also includes those added individually by their GP or hospital doctor after caseload checking and individual consultation.

NHS Digital has published management information on the outcomes for the shielding population which is available at the following link:

However, the published data states that it cannot be used for evaluation purposes. This is because it is not possible to reliably estimate what the emergency admission and mortality rates would have been if shielding had not been implemented. We also do not know whether those who were advised to shield responded to this advice and whether any effects of shielding were due to this or the wider set of social distancing measures that were also in place at the time.

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