06 Nov 2020

Under updated government guidance, people classed as 'clinically extremely vulnerable' should only go out for exercise and to attend health appointments.

This group now includes people with stage-five chronic kidney disease, those undergoing dialysis and adults with Down's syndrome who are now also advised to follow the advice. People in this group are at higher risk from Covid-19 than the general population.

They include people undergoing treatment for serious medical conditions, such as certain cancers, or those with rare diseases. NHS England is in the process of sending letters to those affected.

The new national restrictions apply to everyone in England from 00:01 on Thursday, 5 November, until Wednesday 2 December.

There is a new online service that clinically extremely vulnerable people can use to register for support. Help is available in accessing priority supermarket delivery slots, and other forms of supermarket deliveries, in collecting and delivering medication and for those who need support to manage their wellbeing and mental health.

If you need help or support during this lockdown period, please contact St Helens Together on 01744 6767678am - 10pm.

You can also visit the St Helens Council website for FAQs on shielding and other local information here.

The updated guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people strongly advises:

  • Stay at home as much as possible, although people can exercise outside in their support bubble
  • Avoid all non-essential travel, except to GP and hospital appointments unless told otherwise
  • Don't go to any shops or pharmacies
  • Don't go to work if you cannot work from home - you may be eligible for statutory sick pay or other allowances - but people in the same household can still attend work
  • Most children who were shielding no longer need to be and can go to school - but parents should check with their GP if they are unsure
  • Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should still go to school.

The 'clinically extremely vulnerable' group includes:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers
  • people having active chemotherapy for cancer
  • people having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • people having any treatment for cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma
  • 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 past six months or 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) or homozygous sickle cell
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down's syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage five)
  • pregnant women with significant congenital or acquired heart disease
  • others 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

The over 70s, pregnant women and people who are very obese are not includedin this group - they are classified as clinically vulnerable. They may still be more at risk of Covid-19 and are advised to stay at home as much as possible and minimise contact with others.

For more information, visit https://www.sthelens.gov.uk/shieldingFAQs