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Support thread for the extremely vulnerable (12 weeks shielding / at home isolation)(8 Posts)
Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
Background and scope of guidance
This guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers. It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities, either for the elderly or persons with special needs.
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (listed below) which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.
What do we mean by extremely vulnerable?
People falling into this extremely vulnerable 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
People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Shielding is for your personal protection, it is your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise. Individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, and some others in special circumstances, could decide not to undertake shielding. This will be a deeply personal decision. We advise calling your GP or specialist to discuss this.
The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.
If you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed above and you have not received a letter by Sunday 29 March 2020 or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
We understand this is an anxious time and people considered extremely vulnerable will understandably have questions and concerns. Plans are being readied to make sure you can rely on a wide range of help and support.
What you need to know
If you have an underlying health condition listed above, you are at very high risk of severe illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) requiring admission to hospital.
Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.
You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter. Please note that this period of time could change.
Visits from people who provide essential support to you such as healthcare, personal support with your daily needs or social care should continue, but carers and care workers must stay away if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). You may find this guidance on home care provision useful. All people coming to your home should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival to your house and often whilst they are there.
You should have an alternative list of people who can help you with your care if your main carer becomes unwell. You can also contact your local council for advice on how to access care.
If you think you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 such as a new, continuous cough or fever, seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111. Do this as soon as you get symptoms.
If you have someone else living with you, they are not required to adopt these protective shielding measures for themselves. They should do what they can to support you in shielding and they should stringently follow guidance on social distancing, reducing their contact outside the home. If you care for but don’t actually live with someone who is extremely vulnerable you should still stringently follow guidance on social distancing.
How do these measures differ from the social distancing guidance for vulnerable people issued?
You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.
People who are not clinically extremely vulnerable who have contracted coronavirus (COVID-19) and recovered will be able to go about their normal business. If you are in this group we strongly advise that you should remain at home at all times.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
new continuous cough and/or
high temperature (above 37.8 °C)
What is shielding?
Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. This means that those who are extremely vulnerable should not leave their homes, and within their homes should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household. This is to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) from coming into contact with the virus.
If you think you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or have received a letter from NHS England you are strongly advised to shield yourself, to reduce the chance of getting coronavirus (COVID-19) and follow the face-to-face distancing measures below.
The measures are:
Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
Do not leave your house.
Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services.
Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
Do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
We know that stopping these activities will be difficult. You should try to identify ways of staying in touch with others and participating in your normal activities remotely from your home. However, you must not participate in alternative activities if they involve any contact with other people.
This advice will be in place for at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.
Over the next week, some of us will be directly contacted. It may come as a surprise to some, it may not.
Some people already know, especially if their condition is directly listed.
I am already aware and trying to get my head around it and thought it’d be helpful to set up some support.
If you are trying to identify the severity of your asthma: www.asthma.org.uk/advice/severe-asthma/what-is-severe-asthma/
If you are trying to identify the severity of your other respiratory condition: www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus/what-is-social-shielding
Rheumatology patients: www.rheumatology.org.uk/includes/documents/cm_docs/2015/s/stateofplayukrheumatology.pdf
Hi, does anyone know of an online support group for people shielding with two young children?
I too would be interested in a support group, as I am finding in the past week those who are shielding are gradually being forgotten, especially as others can start to return to some sort of normality. Also found posters on here, and others in real life, to have run out of patience as if "we" are a bit of an inconvience now. And made to feel a bit awkward now - helpful supermarket delivery drivers now do not seem to be social distancing and leaving goods at the door like they were. So could do with a support group for sure.
There’s quite a large Facebook group (1300 or so members) . Because we all have lots of time , there’s a lot of traffic. Shielders uniter Uk .
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