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GPs urged to remove children from shielding list ahead of school start

children and young people's mental health services

NHS England has reminded GPs to remove children from the Covid-19 shielding list, in line with new guidance.

The Government adopted recommendations made by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health last month, which should see a ‘majority’ of children removed from the Covid-19 shielding list.

At the time, the Government said GPs and specialists would be expected to consult children and young people ‘over the summer’ to decide on their future shielding status.

But the latest primary care Covid-19 bulletin said that ‘to date, while there has been a reduction in the numbers [of children] on the SPL, they have not fallen significantly’.

The new guidance recommended that children and young people whose condition is being managed in primary care can probably be removed from the Covid-19 shielding patient list.

The NHS England bulletin said: ‘It is important that this review is completed ahead of the new school term (early September) to avoid children and young people receiving inappropriate advice in the case of new public health measures being applied in their area.’

According to NHS England ‘many of these children will be under the care of specialists, who have also received instruction to review their patients’ but ‘there will be a small number of children and young people who have previously been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and who are not under the care of a specialist’.

‘Practices will need to identify and advise these individuals. Once a conversation with the patient/patient’s family has taken place, the patient must be removed from the SPL if deemed clinically appropriate.

‘To do this, the high risk flag on their patient record should be changed to moderate or low risk. This patient should also be written to, to confirm they have been removed,’ it said.

NHS England added that GPs can find more detail about removing a patient from the SPL via the NHS Digital website.