Shielding advice extended and new patient cohort added

Shielding advice extended and new patient cohort added

February 16, 2021

A new, data-driven risk assessment, called the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment, has been developed to help identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. This risk assessment uses the the QCovid® model, developed by the University of Oxford and independently validated by the Office for National Statistics.

It has been used by NHS Digital at a national level to help identify an additional group of patients with specific multiple risk factors which, combined, may put them at similar risk to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to severe outcomes.

As a precautionary measure, this group of patients will now be added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL), on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. This is to enable them to be prioritised for vaccination if not already vaccinated, and to provide them with additional advice and support, such as prescription deliveries under the Pandemic Delivery Service.

The additional patients identified by this risk assessment will be added to the SPL by NHS Digital, starting with those aged 19-69, from this week. The remaining individuals aged 70+ are expected to be added to the SPL as soon as possible after that.

All the patients will be contacted directly by NHS England to inform them by email (where one is held by their general practice) and by letter. They will be advised to follow Government guidance for those who are high risk, which currently includes shielding, as a precaution.

Up to 1.7 million patients have been identified in the new cohort. Those within this group who are over 70 will have already been invited for vaccination and 820,000 adults between 19 and 69 years will now be prioritised for a vaccination.

Read further clinical information on the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment and additions to the SPL

Read the Department of Health and Social Care news story

Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care have announced that the Government’s shielding advice and support is being extended nationally until 31st March 2021.


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