‘Shielding’ letters for patients in very high risk group

As you may be aware the Government has sent over a million letters to patients advising them that they are in the “very high risk” group and should be shielding for 12 weeks.

These letters were produced using hospital data and not data from GP Practices. As a result the Government announced that GP Practices will be writing to additional patients by the beginning of this week.

Unfortunately, there has been a delay in this process centrally by NHS England / NHS Digital and we are awaiting further guidance from them before we can proceed. For those who haven’t received a letter but feel they may meet the criteria they should be advised to self-declare here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.

Once the additional patients have been identified, letters will be sent out. If you are worried you are high risk and you are unable to social distance, for example due to being unable to work from home, we can discuss individual cases further. However we would ask that people first read the advice available on the government website, and speak to their employer about their concerns and request a risk assessment. Most employers and employees should be able to manage this without requiring medical advice. This will enable the surgery to focus on providing medical care to those who are unwell, rather than spending time doing administrative work, ahead of the searches being available from NHS England/NHS digital.

We understand and share your frustrations regarding the delay but wish to clarify that it is completely out of our control and we are dependent on NHS England / NHS Digital’s guidance.

We thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

Many thanks,

The Alney Practice