Last week a new, data-driven risk assessment, called the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment was implemented by NHS. This has been developed to help identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. It has been used 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 will now be added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL) to enable them to be prioritised for vaccination if not already vaccinated, and to provide them with additional advice and support.
What does this mean for patients?
Additional patients identified by this risk assessment will be added to the SPL by NHS Digital, starting with those aged 19-69. If you are identified as being in this new clinical risk group you will receive a letter from NHS Digital. This measure will allow you more rapid access to vaccination if you have not already been vaccinated (this clinical risk group has been added to the JCVI priority group 6). You will also be advised to follow Government guidance for those who are high risk, which currently includes shielding, as a precaution.
It is recognised that, whilst people may feel that the advice is not so relevant as infection rates decline, it is still important that they are aware of their risk status.
For further information please visit www.gov.uk.