A number of our patients fall into an extremely vulnerable group, also known as “shield” group. This group of around 1.5 million people nationwide (around 2% or 50 patients in our practice) should have received a letter from NHS England, and their names have been held on a central list. We understand this group will receive priority for supermarket home delivery if they cannot get help from their community for collecting shopping.
We recognise that this group does not include many of our patients who are also more vulnerable (around 35% or 1000 patients in our practice). We can check against national guidance if any of our patients think they may have been missed.
We cannot provide doctors letters to our many hundreds of other vulnerable patients or their carers, requesting special consideration.
We would urge these people to make use of the fantastic local volunteers who have kindly offered to try and keep everyone in our community safe. This vulnerable group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Further advice and detailed criteria for who is “extremely vulnerable” is available online, since this information is being rapidly updated, it may be helpful to search by relevant condition. eg “asthma coronavirus” in google or another search engine.