Covid-19 FAQ's

Caring for People at Highest Clinical Risk from COVID-19

Please note: The information contained in this document relates specifically to people defined by the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer as being extremely clinically vulnerable to, or at highest clinical risk from, COVID-19.

The advice in this guidance may feel stringent but it is there to protect those who are at highest clinical risk and should be applied carefully to this group.

Please download the full document here: FAQs for patients

The following text is an excerpt of the above document published April 2020:



Last week the NHS wrote to those people considered to be at highest clinical risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform them that they should stay at home at all times and avoid all face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. This is set out in the Public Health England guidance published on 21 March 2020. This is known as ‘shielding’.

The GPs and hospital clinicians looking after people in these groups have also received letters informing them of the highest clinical risk group and have been asked to review their patient lists and to add in any patients they think should be on that list.

People falling into this highest clinical risk group include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients

  • People with specific cancers:

    • people with cancer and are having chemotherapy

    • people with lung cancer and are having radical radiotherapy

    • 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

  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

Please download the FAQs above