New Shielding Advice
In reference to the queries raised with regards to a recent letter that some people may have received related to the Government’s Shielding, this has come directly from NHS England and not from Beacon Medical Group. As a country we are learning more and more about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) as time passes. Initially when the Department of Health decided on the criteria for shielding they were working on a likely risk rather than actual data as at this stage COVID-19 was so new. Over time NHS Digital has looked at a lot of data and looks at the criteria for shielding in a different way. Some people who have a few chronic diseases may fall into this category and we also now know that ethnicity has a role to play.
The Government has updated guidance on Shielding and it can be found by accessing this link
Whilst Shielding is not compulsory the Government recommends it to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 virus in those who are considered to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. In addition to the initial cohorts of the population that have been recommended to shield at the start of the latest lockdown in January 2021 – from 16 February 2021 a COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment has been conducted by NHS England. It is this nationwide assessment that has recently flagged some people as potentially being at higher risk.
As a practice we will aim to prioritise anyone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable for COVID Vaccination as they have an increased risk of complications related to COVID and would recommend that consideration be given to the Government’s Shielding advice. On engaging with shielding this is a decision that only an individual make for themselves (or carer if unable to make this decision for yourself).
As a practice we are not in a position to advise on employment but the link below contains the advice on shielding from ACAS on steps Employers are advised to take.
If by shielding some patients may have additional support needs – this may be provided by the council or they may need priority access to supermarket delivery slots. If you are shielding and need this support please register yourself for this help using the link below.
It is likely as more of the population get vaccinated and the “R-number” (rate of spread of the infection) continues to fall “Shielding Guidance” will be relaxed as we saw after the first wave.
Beacon Medical Group.