New technology, QCOVID, has been introduced in England to help clinicians identify for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. Up to 1.7 million patients have been identified.
The patients identified through the risk assessment will be sent a letter from NHS England in the coming days explaining that their risk factors may help identify them as high clinical risk and that they are included within the support and advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable. They will be invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible if they haven’t already had the jab, and will be given advice on precautionary measures, including shielding where this is current advice. Their GPs are also being notified.
Local authorities are working to ensure that patients added to the Shielded Patient List receive the same support as other clinically extremely vulnerable people, such as priority supermarket delivery slots. People can sign up for support from the National Shielding Support Service (or have someone do this on their behalf), or contact their local authority if they need help registering or updating their details.
Local authorities already engage with the local voluntary sector infrastructure organisation in their areas (including mutual aid groups) and have been encouraged to continue to utilise those links to request volunteer support. In addition, the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership (VCSEP), through their Multi-Agency Cells, can provide local coordination where additional volunteer and voluntary sector support may be needed.