Coronavirus - patients who need shielding from coronavirus
Updated 5th January 2021
Thank you to everyone in our community for working together and protecting each other through maintaining physical distancing, good hand hygiene and staying at home as much as possible. It has been hard but your commitment to this is appreciated. Through our collective efforts we have reduced but not eliminated the coronavirus. We need to continue to work together to stay safe in Frome.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home. Do not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Shielding and protecting patients from coronavirus
If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding (4th January 2021) in it's document National Lockdown: Stay At Home, as follows:
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should not attend work, school, college or university, and you should limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.
As a practice, we are unable to issue letters for patients who are shielding. We ask that you please wait for these to be issued by the central NHS team.
People falling into this group include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- adults with Down’s syndrome
- adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions
If you are not clinically extremely vulnerable you should follow the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing).
Local support and information for people who are shielding
We have put together some information on local and national support available to people who need to shield.
- Our latest practice update on coronavirus
- Sign up for the NHS App
- Latest government guidance
- COVID-19 vaccinations
- How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus
- What to do if you think you might have coronavirus
- Use of face coverings
- Information for patients who are shielding
- Support for people who are shielding
- Temporary changes to services
- Signs and symptoms
- Isolation notes
- Information in different formats
- Useful links
- Volunteer to help find a vaccine