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Publication, Part of

[MI] Tracking Healthcare Activity and Outcomes for Shielded Patients, England - up to 17 June 2020


Shielding is one of the government interventions aimed at reducing mortality from COVID-19. Those considered at highest clinical risk of mortality and severe morbidity from COVID-19 (defined as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) were identified to be on the Shielded Patient List (SPL).

These individuals were asked to stay at home and avoid face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks during the peak of the pandemic in the UK.

This publication considers data relating to emergency admissions, mortality and positive COVID-19 tests for a subset of patients on the English SPL compared with an age-matched sample of the general population.

The open data file includes the underlying counts and rates to allow for analysis, modelling and planning to take place to aid the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

What the data cannot show

This report does not evaluate the impact of shielding as it is not possible to reliably estimate what the emergency admission and mortality rates would have been if shielding had not been implemented.

Emergency admissions

Individuals on the SPL had higher rates of emergency admissions than those in the age-matched general population sample before the pandemic.  This rate dropped sharply for both of these groups in April 2020.

An average of 1 in 600 people on the SPL were admitted per day in the week commencing 2nd March 2020 compared with a corresponding daily average of 1 in 2,400 for those in the general population sample.

By the week commencing 13th April 2020, daily emergency admissions had dropped sharply for both those on the SPL (by 46 per cent) and the general population sample (by 33 per cent).  These figures include all emergency admissions, not just those related to COVID-19.


The mortality rate for individuals on the SPL peaked and started reducing sooner than for the age-matched general population sample.

The peak daily mortality rate for individuals on the SPL (1 in 2,500) was observed on 2nd April 2020, while the peak daily mortality rate for the general population sample (1 in 7,000) was observed on 12th April 2020.  These figures include all deaths, not just those related to COVID-19.

Positive COVID-19 tests

Positive COVID-19 tests from Pillar 1 testing peaked for both those on the SPL and the age-matched general population sample in early April 2020.

The peak for daily positive COVID-19 tests in early April 2020 was 1 in 3,500 for individuals on the SPL and 1 in 9,500 for the general population sample.

This declined towards the middle of June 2020 for both groups to 1 in 66,700 for those on the SPL compared with 1 in 166,700 for the general population sample.

Last edited: 8 September 2020 12:31 pm