Posted: Tue 5th May 2020

Thousands more high risk patients in Wales to receive letters advising them to ‘shield’ until at least mid June

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

An additional 21,000 people in Wales deemed at high risk from COVID-19 will be sent letters this week strongly advising to stay at home at all times.

The move follows a ‘refinement of the medical criteria’ for shielding and is in line with the other three nations.

The majority of these extremely vulnerable patients are within the high-risk categories already identified and have been identified as a result of updated searches of our secondary care systems.

Initially, 100,000 people in Wales were added to the ‘Shielded Patient List’ – however, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have now advised those on kidney dialysis should shield which has increased the list 121,000.

The latest letters being sent out will advise people to should until at least June 15. 

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, said:

“Updated searches of our primary care system are still being conducted centrally and may identify further patients.

We anticipate this process will be completed this week and any further patients identified will also receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer.

The list of high risk conditions is under constant review and we are following the latest scientific and medical advice to ensure we have identified and contacted everyone who needs to be shielding.”

Mr Gething said: “Given the severe nature of the measures those who are shielding must take – self-isolation for 12 weeks which includes reducing all non-essential contact with other household members – it is important only those are classed as high risk are added to it. 

In line with the initial 12 week shielding advice issued in late March, the latest letters advise people to shield until at least 15 June 2020.”

The 4 UK Chief Medical Officers will be meeting again to consider next steps and further advice will be issued before 15 June 2020 telling those who are shielding what to do next.

The Health Minister said: “GPs will be provided with an updated list of their patients who have been identified centrally and will remain able to identify and add further patients.

This will include English-border GP practices with Welsh resident patients. Secondary Care Clinicians/Specialists will be provided with the updated Welsh Shielded Patient List and will also now be able to identify and add further patients.

Local authorities and the major food retailers will receive the updated Welsh Shielded Patient List at the same time so that the additional people identified can access the support being provided.”

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