In a previous update, NHS Digital said some young, healthy women were being told to shield due to previous gestational diabetes, and that the QCovid risk tool is being ‘actively reviewed’.
However, the body has now added that GPs can remove a person included for previous gestational diabetes if the patient meets a certain risk criteria and requests this.
To be removed, the patient must have ‘no other significant conditions’ along with a BMI of ‘between 16 and 41’, and a HbA1c test taken ‘since delivery and within the last 12 months which is normal or in the pre-diabetes or non-diabetic hyperglycaemia range’.
Though the patient would be removed from the shielding list, they would still be called for an early Covid vaccine, NHS Digital said.
It added that GPs should always use their ‘clinical judgement’ and discuss any decision to remove a patient from the list, and pointed to an RCGP resource to support this.
NHS Digital said: ‘Importantly, women with previous gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (which would put them at higher risk from coronavirus) and they should continue to undergo the recommended annual checks for this.’
The statement again clarified that many people with previous gestational diabetes have been appropriately identified by QCovid as being at high-risk, adding that the QCovid model assesses ‘a wide range of risk factors’.
It said that some people may have been identified as having diabetes when in fact they had gestational diabetes, as the assessment is based on routinely coded data from multiple systems. Others could have ‘incomplete data’, meaning the system may have defaulted to a higher risk level ‘on a precautionary basis’, it added.
Pulse reported last week that GPs were being inundated by women who were being told to shield, despite not being at high risk from Covid-19.