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Summary Care Record application (SCRa) shielded patient flag

A COVID-19 Shielded Patient Flag was available via the SCRa to support patients and healthcare professionals. 

Removal of Shielded Patient List (SPL) and flag within Summary Care Record application

Following the announcement by the UK Government regarding the end of national shielding in England, NHS Digital is undertaking a managed closure of the Shielded Patient List. Therefore, the "COVID-19 Risk Indicators" section, which was added to the "Key Demographic Information" page, and the associated alert within the Summary Care Record application have now been removed from all patient records.


The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, working with the Chief Medical Officers of the devolved nations and other senior clinicians, commissioned us to produce a list of people at ‘high risk’ of complications from COVID-19.  Before shielding ended in September 2021, these people either were advised to consider shielding for at least 12 weeks. This list was referred to as the Shielded Patient List.

A new alert was made available for the people on the Shielded Patient List through the SCRa, and the National Care Records Service pilot following a pilot with community pharmacies and the London Ambulance Service. 

The alert states ‘This person has been advised to consider shielding. This information may support you to manage this patient but should not be used in isolation as an assessment of risk. Patient management decisions should always be made drawing on the widest range of information sources.’  The list of people for whom this alert is set is held within the NHS Spine and is updated weekly. 

This alert along with healthcare information from other sources, such as a patient’s letter saying they are on the shielded patient list,  supported healthcare professionals to decide how they provided services to these people during the pandemic. 


For healthcare professionals using SCRa

Before shielding ended in September 2021, each time a patient’s record was opened, an alert popped up stating ‘This person has been advised to consider shielding. This information may support you to manage this patient but should not be used in isolation as an assessment of risk. Patient management decisions should always be made drawing on the widest range of information sources.’

This information was also shown in the SCRa ‘Key Demographic Information’ screen under a new section called ‘COVID-19 Risk Indicators’.

Healthcare professionals who already have access to the SCRa had access to these flags. 


For healthcare professionals using the 1-Click Service

Each time a patient’s record is opened, an alert stated ‘This person has been advised to consider shielding. This information may support you to manage this patient but should not be used in isolation as an assessment of risk.  Patient management decisions should always be made drawing on the widest range of information sources.’  This information was also shown under a ‘COVID-19 Risk Indicators’ tab.

Healthcare professionals who already have access to the SCRa via the 1-Click Service had access to this flag.


Contact us

if you have any enquiries about this pilot please email us at [email protected]


Further information

internal Shielded Patient List

NHS Digital published the Shielded Patient List (SPL), to enable partner organisations across government to support and protect those who were shielding.

Last edited: 21 September 2022 11:19 am