To compile the initial list of nearly one million patients, it was necessary to combine routine NHS data from multiple sources. In this extremely complex process, our priority was to ensure that we got vital information to patients as quickly as possible.
Our aim has been to contact the most people as soon as possible, with the risk that we would also include a small number of individuals who do not need to use social shielding. Most importantly, we are striving to avoid overlooking any individual who is at genuine risk, which is why we have put in place additional measures to identify as many of the most people as we can, working with general practitioners and hospital specialists.
If you believe you have been included in error you can check the list of identified conditions below. If you are confident that this does not apply then please ignore the communication. If you still have concerns then please discuss your own circumstances with your GP.
People who have been identified as requiring shielding, and in the following groups will receive the letters:
Solid organ transplant recipients
People with specific cancers:
People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
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 which 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 COPD
People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease