The Shielding Patient List (SPL) is available to mental health providers. This may include providers who also provide Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, only where they are the same organisation that provides secondary mental health care services.
Mental health providers need to be able access their local SPLs to identify those patients under their care who have been or are currently shielding, and continue to be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable in accordance with government and Chief Medical Officer guidance for England, in order to proactively contact and support them. This is because NHS England and Improvement formally requested that all providers undertake a series of actions for the provision of NHS care to shielding patients as communicated in the letters of 4 June and from the Medical Director for the NHS in England, Steve Powis, and the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May.
The above letter included an explicit action that “Mental health, learning disability and autism teams should ensure that patients under their care who are known to be shielding are proactively contacted and supported through this time”. This means that for those patients on the SPL who are in receipt of mental health services from the provider, the provider is able to proactively contact those patients and review their care plans with them in light of their shielding status, as shielding is an extreme course of action likely to have had significant impact on the shielding individual’s mental health.
Mental health providers in scope can use the SPL data to:
- identify those patients who were advised to shield who are also receiving care from their services
- having identified them, where appropriate, proactively contact these patients and
- optimise mental health care for these patients through reviewing and amending their care plans as necessary, including potentially setting up new interventions or services
NHS Digital will grant providers with access to local SPLs in line with the application process set out below so they can fulfil these actions.
Data for secondary mental health providers
Secondary mental health providers can use the mental health SPL application form to apply to receive data from the shielded patient list and find out more about the policy and guidance on how to use the data. The data will enable mental health providers to identify patients in their care who are, or have been, shielding.
If you are a mental health service provider and want to learn about this service, please contact SPLquery@nhs.net.