Advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people

This page contains advice and support for those who have been identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to Coronavirus

Shielding advice was paused on 1 April 2021. If you require additional care and support to help you stay safe and well, there is further advice below.

As restrictions have been eased following the move to Step 4 of the roadmap, we are advising clinically extremely vulnerable people, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as everyone else. It is important that everyone adheres to this guidance.

However, as someone who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you may wish to think particularly carefully about additional precautions you might wish to continue to take. Individuals may choose to limit the close contact they have with those they do not usually meet with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, particularly if they are clinically extremely vulnerable and if COVID-19 disease levels in the general community are high. It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Guidance FAQ's 

 

Who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable?

Anybody who is defined as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' and at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There are 2 ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable:

  1. You have one or more of conditions listed below, or
  2. Your clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded Patient List because you may be at higher risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

If you do not fall into any of these categories and have not been contacted to inform you that you are on the Shielded Patient List, follow the national restriction guidance for the rest of the population.

If you think there are good clinical reasons why you should be added to the Shielded Patient List, discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician. People with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • 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 that 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 rare diseases 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 the risk of infection
  • problems with your spleen, for example, splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
  • 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

What is the current guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people?

The Government is advising that Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people no longer need to shield.

The Government has outlined its roadmap out of the lockdown, with a gradual easing of restrictions over the next few months that will apply to everyone. In addition, the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out to everyone, with prioritisations based on the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This will help pave the way for restrictions to be safely lifted.

Although the advice to shield has ended, clinically extremely vulnerable people should follow the guidance that is place for everyone.

The Government are also advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to continue to take extra precautions to protect themselves. You are advised to follow the practical steps described below to minimise your risk of exposure to the virus.

You can read advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people on the government's website.

Why has the shielding programme ended?

Since 19 July 2021, people previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) have been advised to follow the same guidance as the rest of the population. The DHSC has taken the decision to end the shielding programme entirely, as we now know a lot more about the virus and what makes someone more or less vulnerable to Covid-19. Equally, the vaccine continues to be successfully rolled out and other treatments and interventions are becoming available. Therefore, people classed as CEV are being asked to consider their own risk, supported by their NHS clinician where necessary.

What does this mean for me/my CEV loved ones?

The end of the shielding programme means that specific guidance for people previously identified as CEV will no longer be issued. Your details will be removed from the Shielded Patient List and you should follow the same guidance as everyone else. This guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Does the end of the shielding programme not leave people at risk?

We understand that the end of the shielding programme will cause anxiety and concern for some people who are classed as CEV, or who have vulnerable loved ones. The DHSC’s decision to end the shielding programme is based on the knowledge that for the majority of the CEV group, the risk of developing serious illness from Covid-19 is reduced and a one-size-fits all approach is no longer appropriate for all CEV people. Those who remain at higher risk after being vaccinated should discuss any necessary precautions with their NHS clinician and, if you or a loved one feels uncomfortable with the easing of restrictions, you should continue to take your own precautions to minimise risk wherever possible. This could include: considering whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated; considering continuing with social distancing if that feels right for you and your friends; asking friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow test before visiting you; asking home visitors to wear face coverings; and avoiding crowded spaces.

Should I return to work?

The Government is no longer telling anyone to work from home. However, employers still have a legal responsibility to protect their staff from risks to their health and safety. Your employer should be able to explain to you the measures they have in place to keep you safe at work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has also published guidance on protecting vulnerable workers (www.bit.ly/HSE-vulnerable) Access to Work can offer practical support to people who have a health condition that affects the way they work. The scheme can offer support including mental health support for people returning to work after shielding, and travel-to-work support for those who may no longer be able to safely travel by public transport. For more information, please visit: www.gov.uk/access-to-work If you are struggling financially, you may also be eligible to apply for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. For more information on benefits, please visit: www.gov.uk/financial-help-disabled

How do all people previously identified as CEV know if they are less well protected by the vaccine?

If you are immunosuppressed due to underlying health conditions or medical treatment, you may not have a full immune response to the vaccine and so might be less well protected than everyone else. As a result, you may want to take extra precautions to protect yourself and then discuss your risk with your NHS specialist at your next routine consultation. Third doses of the vaccine are being offered as part of the primary vaccination course to those over 12 years old who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose and may not have had a full response to vaccination – this includes those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. If you fall into this category, you will be identified and invited for a vaccination by the hospital where you receive care under a consultant and/or your GP. If you already receive advice from your clinician on infection risk, you may wish to discuss your risk from COVID-19 at your next routine appointment.

Will people previously identified as CEV people still be able to access priority supermarket slots?

Supermarkets stopped providing priority access to supermarket slots for people previously identified as CEV on the advice of government on 21st June. Different supermarkets may have their own policies on priority access to supermarket slots.

Am I eligible for a booster vaccination because I was on the Shielded Patient List?

Not everyone who was classed as CEV will be eligible for a booster vaccine. You should speak to your GP or clinician for further advice and guidance. Further FAQs on the 2021 Covid Vaccination Booster programme can be found on Doncaster CCG’s website: https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/your-care/coronavirus-latest-news-and-information/covid-19-booster-programme/

Why are all people previously identified as CEV not being offered a third dose of the vaccine?

Third dose vaccinations are different to booster vaccinations as their aim is to increase protection levels for people who may not have had a strong vaccine response first time round. Most people previously considered CEV will be well protected by the vaccine. A third dose is therefore only being offered to people over 12 who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose, including those with leukaemia, advanced HIV and recent organ transplants. These people may not have had a full response to vaccination and so might be less protected than everyone else – offering a third dose may increase their protection levels.

In the absence of shielding, what support will be available to those who still need it?

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is still available to offer short-term help to those who need it. The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme can provide telephone support if people are feeling lonely, or help with collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies. Patients can call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer, or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information. Locally in Doncaster there are a number of community groups offering support. Details of these groups can be found at www.doncaster.gov.uk/services/health-wellbeing/list-of-groups-offering-support-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak Doncaster Council’s helpline is also open Monday to Friday between 08:30am and 5pm on 01302 430300

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Helpline:

Alongside our partners, we’re committed to supporting all of the residents of Doncaster, particularly those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable to ensure no-one is disadvantaged through the pandemic. 

We know these are difficult times, so if you feel like you need a little extra support but have no one around to help then please get in touch with us! 

You can call our helpline Monday to Friday between 8.30am – 5pm on 01302 430300 

Outside of these hours there will be a limited service for emergency situations only. 

 

NHS Volunteer Responders (National):

NHS Volunteer Responders are able to help anyone who lives in England and needs to self-isolate, for example those that are clinically vulnerable or those who have been contacted by Test and Trace. They can also help people who choose to stay at home as much as possible because they are cautious about going out during the coronavirus outbreak.

NHS Volunteer Responders services include:

  • Community Response Volunteers to help with shopping for food, essential items, and to collect and deliver prescriptions from the pharmacy.
  • Check In and Chat Volunteers available for regular talks over the phone, where you can have a chat with a friendly voice.
  • Check In and Chat Plus Volunteers is a phone service provided by volunteers who are self-isolating, offering a friendly voice to those who are also self-isolating.
  • Patient Transport is available but will need to be requested by a professional referrer such as your GP or other medical practitioner.

To arrange support for yourself or someone you know call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Social Isolation and Loneliness Alliance Helpline:

The Social Isolation and Loneliness Alliance (SIA) is a collaboration of partners from the public, voluntary, community and faith sectors who are committed to reducing social isolation and loneliness in Doncaster. 

Through our range of partners, the SIA can offer access to:

  • Support packages to combat poor mental and physical health and well-being.

  • Be-friending sessions online and face to face.

  • Substance misuse advice and rehabilitation programmes.

  • Social welfare advice, and support.

  • A range of engaging physical activity, social, recreational, cultural, and creative programmes.

  • Local foodbanks to tackle food poverty.

  • Social prescribing programmes.

  • Community-led and peer support programmes.

  • Volunteering opportunities.

  • Access to other agencies to support complex needs. 

Anyone who needs help or advice or has no other support can ring the SIA Helpline seven days a week Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 6pm. 

HELPLINE NUMBER: 01302 430322

Five Ways to Wellbeing

It’s really important that during these challenging times caused by the coronavirus that we pay close attention to our own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around us. The Five Ways to Wellbeing page is full of helpful ideas and links to resources that can support you to look after yourself and your loved ones. 

Citizens Advice Bureau:

The Citizens Advice Bureau has lots of advice and an advice line that can be rung for aid with financial support.

National Advice and Helpline: 0800 144 8848

CAB Doncaster Borough: 01709 572 400, Adviceline 0344 499 4137

If you are looking for further community support you can find it via our Local Support page.

Further general advice for those identified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable can be found on the Government's website - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable 

 

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Last updated: 13 October 2021 17:41:02