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Updated government guidance

The government’s guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable was updated yesterday.  Read more in this message from the Specialised Healthcare Alliance (SHCA) of which SIA is a member.

The Department of Health and Social Care has updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable in line with the new national restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Saturday.

The guidance advises that the clinically extremely vulnerable should stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments.

Furthermore, those who cannot work from home should not go to work, but people in the same household may enter their usual work place in line with the national restrictions. School children who previously self-isolated can still attend school, unless informed otherwise.

A £32 million support package will be made available to local authorities in the top tier restrictions to support the clinically extremely vulnerable in accessing support during the four week lockdown, and individuals may be able to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. However, it is currently not clear from the guidance what the criteria for accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be during the second lockdown, or if some clinically extremely vulnerable people will have to rely on Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit.

Those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable will receive a letter later this week, providing them with further detail on the updated guidance and on how to access the support available. The Chief Medical Officer for England has advised those with chronic kidney disease (stage 5) and those undergoing dialysis, as well as adults with Down’s Syndrome, to be added to the shielding patient list.

At SIA we are aware there may be concerns from members around, for example, the support package made available, the potential pressures on clinically extremely vulnerable people to continue to attend their usual workplace if they are not eligible for support, or if their child must attend school.  If you have any questions or comments on the guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Ring our Support Line on 0800 980 0501 or email [email protected]

For more information visit our pages on Coronavirus and SCI.