Patients regarded as ‘extremely vulnerable’ qualify for the shielding letter and will have received a letter advising patients to stay at home for 12 weeks.
Those classed as ‘extremely vulnerable’ are:
- 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.
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- People with severe single organ disease (e.g. Liver, Cardio, Renal, Neurological)
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- Pregnant women with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- Children (up to the age of 18) with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
Please see below for further guidance: https://gov.wales/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-people-defined-on-medical-grounds-as-extremely-vulnerable-from-coronavirus-covid-19-html
The shielding letter provided is confirmation to your employer that you are not able to go to work. If your job allows, you can work from home. You will not require an additional sick note from the surgery as proof. For further information regarding shielding letters, please follow the link: https://gov.wales/cmo-letter-extremely-vulnerable-people-support-explained
Broader vulnerable groups should strictly follow social distancing guidance, but are NOT being issued a shielding letter. These are referred to as the ‘At Risk Group’. This group has been identified to the public as those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. 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 the 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 BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
This wider group, who broadly speaking comprise the criteria of adults eligible for an annual flu vaccine, will not be proactively contacted but have instead been asked to take steps to reduce their social interactions in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
Guidance on social distancing can be found here: