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Independents' Day

GPs remove 107,000 patients from Covid-19 shielding list

GPs' review of the central list of people requiring shielding from coronavirus has resulted in 107,000 patients being removed from the list.

However, despite this, the list now stands at 2.16 million patients - nearly 700,000 more people than NHS England had initially estimated.

It comes as GP practices in England have spent an average of 26 hours a week reviewing whether patients should be shielding, according to a survey of the profession by Pulse, with practices having to remove 30 patients on average.

The list is still being populated, through a weekly extraction via the NHS Digital GP Extraction Service, six weeks after it was first launched.

And the Department of Health and Social Care told Pulse it would continue to add to the list of conditions recommended by the Chief Medical Officers, as new evidence on the illness emerges.

Most recently renal failure and pulmonary hypertension were added, and the Government clarified that splenectomy patients should have been on it all along but were missed off in error.

GPs and hospital specialists can also add patients to the list based on their discretion.

Patients should initially shield until 30 June and GPs have been told to follow up and check in with all of their shielding patients.

An NHS England bulletin on Covid-19, sent this morning, stated that the latest data trawl had identified a further ‘small number of patients’ who will be added to the list and require GP review.

The bulletin said: ‘Flags will be added to the GP records for these patients along with patients identified by hospital clinicians this week. The addition of flags and distribution of central letters is expected to be complete by Thursday 7 May.'

She said this comes as any patients that were 'locally identified' prior to 28 April 'should now be recognised by the Government support website'.

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Why shielding letters? What would have been wrong with pubic health announcements on TV,radio and the internet? Surely a lot quicker and more likely to get through without burdening general practice. If NHSE know what they are doing they could have done this and left the GPs alone to get on with it......Surely Nikita Kanani could have gone on national TV and done interviews and clarified the confusion and answered the Public questions...... or perhaps not capable of leading when it matters despite the 'qualifications' ?????? .Has anyone watched "Yes Minister'- the four point plan.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSD1d-6P6qI

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  • its so they can get their priority slot from the supermarkets and home delivery - the letter is very important for this. did you not know. aldi does not do home delivery so quiet for shopping and usually no queues most of the time, till lockdown over that is and then its back to the normal traffic jams every morning.

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  • ...add to the list of conditions ...as new evidence ...emerges... (Evidence based medicine)

    GPs and hospital specialists can add patients to the list based on their discretion. ( Wing it)

    It would appear that the evidence based approach is so ropey that winging it is an useful adjunct.

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  • no answers only questions

    How many of the 107,000 will die? (statistically?)



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  • The cynic in me is seeing the Shielding letter as another "Blue Badge" that can be used/abused. Case in point, I am having to deal with patients who believe they should have one but not received one. Reasons for asking? nothing to do with health concerns but citing pay/work issues.

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  • The recent SPL8 list has been the worst yet.
    More than 90% have been coded as ‘pregnant with congenital heart disease’, where the person is mostly over 70 years old, or some women who have never been pregnant and worst of all - men! Madness.

    I had to block out half a session to call people and have made 15 patients out of my list of 59 very happy by saying they don’t need to shield.

    Such a lot of wasted time clinician wise. We were hoping to try and push for the Covid monies but the newsflash saying the treasury wants proof is galling, which essentially means we are going to get shafted by the Government for having to clean up the mess they created with the disastrous Shielding campaign.

    My cynical side expected this and I’m currently letting out a huge sigh...

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