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Coronavirus: Patients removed from ‘shielding lists’ without GPs being told

Vulnerable people have been shielding since March (Picture: Getty)

GPs have not been told some of their patients have been removed from coronavirus “shielding lists”.

Vulnerable people who were notified they would no longer need to self-isolate have been left confused after finding out their GPs had not received the same information.

Some of those who were shielding since March were told via text message in the past week this was no longer necessary and they would stop receiving food parcels.

Samantha Bruce, 35, from Rotherham, who suffers from severe asthma, told the BBC: “It doesn't make sense - the virus isn't going anywhere so why is it that suddenly I don't need to shield anymore?"

Mum-of-two Bruce, who has a disabled husband, added she had called her GP to confirm the message but they told her they had not been notified.

Others have also said there has been poor communication regarding “shielding lists”.

A grandmother tweeted: “Yes, 12-year-old Grandson dropped from shielding list. Text said they’d received info from GP. 

“Rang GP and they said no contact by government and to ignore text and they’d made no such recommendation. Terrible. Stopped food box also.”

The government has extended shielding for “clinically vulnerable” people who are at risk of serious COVID-19 complications until the end of June.

These include those suffering from asthma, certain cancers and chronic heart disease.

There are approximately 2.2 million people in the UK on this list.

Dozens of charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support and Diabetes UK, have urged the government to improve its messaging and “be clearer with communication”.

In a letter sent on Friday, the bosses of the organisations said: “Messaging to this group is currently confused.”

They added: “Some people have received texts advising them to shield until the end of July, and others have been advised to continue to shield indefinitely by their clinician.

“It is imperative that clear guidance to those who are shielding is issued as soon as possible.”

The government has continued to ease the coronavirus lockdown (Picture: Getty)

The Royal College of GPs said it was important they were notified of any changes to “shielding lists”.

They added: “However, it is important that as guidance changes, and patients are either added or removed from 'shielding lists' based on conditions they have or medication they are taking, that GPs and relevant specialists are advised about this.”

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