GPs can refuse to provide letters for shielding patients who request them in order to have their hair cut, the BMA has said.
In a weekly update sent to LMCs, the BMA said it had heard of practices being contacted for letters on behalf of patients who are shielding from coronavirus to allow them to take part in certain activities.
A spokesperson told Pulse that in one case hairdressers have been told by their insurance company that GP letters are necessary before shielding patients can have a haircut.
Shielding patients do not need such letters but should follow Government guidance on social distancing and ‘other necessary precautions’, the update added.
The BMA said: ‘We have heard of situations where individuals, employers, businesses or insurance companies have been suggesting that shielding patients obtain a letter from their GP to engage in certain activities, including having their hair cut.
‘There is no requirement or necessity for such letters and patients and others should follow the Government guidance relating to social distancing and other necessary precautions.’
It comes as the Government has said it is looking at bringing shielding GPs ‘back to work’ in practices from 1 August – when the shielding programme will be paused.
However, the shielding list will be retained and kept up-to-date for the event of a new virus spike, with GPs and specialists being asked to rewrite the list based on a new risk prediction tool currently in development.
Earlier this month, Pulse revealed that this reworked shielding list could be significantly expanded as evidence has emerged to show those with hypertension, CVD and diabetes have a high risk of severe illness or death from Covid-19.
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