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Identifying and helping to protect patients most at risk from COVID-19

The Royal College of Physicians has been working with the Chief Medical Officer for England and several specialist societies to identify and help protect those patients most at risk from COVID-19. 

As the Prime Minister announced at the weekend, these patients will be urged to undergo strict self-isolation for 12 weeks or longer because they are immunosuppressed.

The RCP has been working with the Association of British Neurologists, British Association of Dermatologists, British Society of Gastroenterology, British Thoracic Society, British Society for Rheumatology, the Renal Association and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, who are encouraging clinical directors and their colleagues in each specialty to identify patients and inform them when they can.

Each society has made detailed information available on its website to help identify patients - we have listed these links below and will add to them as new information becomes available. The RCP will also be in touch with other specialist societies to make sure they have the information they need.  

Those identified by the specialist societies will be added to some 900,000 already contacted by NHS England who have high risk of infection with COVID-19, such as patients who have had a transplant. A list of the groups covered by this can be found on the NHS England website. The same ‘risk stratification’ applies across all four countries of the UK.

The specialist societies listed above are also working with their Third Sector partners to get information to patients so that they can self-identify where appropriate and encouraging their members to post this information on their Trust’s website so that as many patients, families and carers can be reached as quickly as possible.

British Association of Dermatologists
Dermatology advice regarding self-isolation and immunosuppressed patients: adults, paediatrics and young people

British Society for Rheumatology

Action needed: coronavirus and identifying high-risk patients

The Renal Association

Stratified risk for prolonged self isolation for adults and children who are receiving immunosuppression for disease of their native kidneys

British Society of Gastroenterology

BSG/RCP Advice for IBD & Liver Clinicians on identifying immunosuppressed patients for shielding

Association of British Neurologists

ABN guidance on COVID-19 for people with neurological conditions

British Thoracic Society

COVID-19: identifying patients for shielding

NHS England FAQs for clinicians and patients on caring for people at highest clinical risk from COVID-19

FAQs for clinicians
FAQs for patients

NHS Digital shielding methodologies
PHE guidance on shielding and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people
Advice from RCGP on shielding vulnerable patients from COVID-19