Clinically extremely vulnerable (Shielding) workers

Who needs to shield and what are the different tiers?

Updated: 13 April 2021

Covid-19 is particularly dangerous for people who have certain health conditions, due to the impact the virus has on the vital organs.  

During the pandemic, the UK Government defined some people as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and requested them to shield at home from the period between late March 2020 and the end of July and then again in November until the end of March 2021.

You can find more advice on shielding and protecting vulnerable people on GOV.UK

There are 3 ways you may be identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and therefore included on the Shielded Patient List:

  1. You have one or more of the conditions listed below.

  2. Your clinician or GP has added you to the Shielded Patient List because, based on their clinical judgement, they deem you to be at high risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

  3. You have been identified through the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment as potentially being at high risk of serious illness if you catch the virus.

People with the following conditions are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable: 

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • problems with your spleen, for example splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

Source: UK Government 

If you have been shielding, it is likely that you are now back at work. If you haven't already done so, you may want to speak to your employer about taking on an alternative role to keep you away from too much contact with the public and/or co-workers or change your working patterns temporarily to enable you to work from home where possible.

If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021.

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