Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People
Some adults and young people have health conditions that mean they are more likely to get very unwell and might have to go to hospital if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19). These people are described as being clinically extremely vulnerable and include those who:
- have had a solid organ transplant – kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, or lung
- are having treatments for some cancers
- have severe long-term lung disease including cystic fibrosis and severe asthma
- have rare diseases that increase their risk of infection
- are on medication that compromises their immune system and so are much more likely to get infections and become seriously unwell from them
- are pregnant with significant heart disease
Latest Government Advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People
Stay at home and shield
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you’re strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact to protect yourself.
This is called ‘shielding’ and the advice is:
- Do not leave your house.
- Do not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, family homes, weddings and religious services.
- Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Government is currently advising people to shield until 30 June 2020 and is regularly monitoring this position.
Clinically Vulnerable People
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
- a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions, treatments like chemotherapy, or medicines such as steroid tablets
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- pregnant women
Latest Government Advice for Clinically Vulnerable People
You are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household. (until 30th June)
NCN's approach to these groups of people
NCN feels it would be inappropriate to allow anyone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to work. The Company is also sympathetic to anyone who lives in a household with someone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. Whilst there is financial Government support, and if the individual can show documented evidence that they fall within this group, they would not be required to work.
NCN feels that it may consider workers who are in the Clinically Vulnerable group, if a suitable Risk assessment can be put in place. This will be at the discretion of the Company.
For pregnant women the advice at the moment (see Guidance page) is that the risk increases after 28 weeks due to the risk of premature birth caused by COVID-19. Whilst there is financial Government support, and if the individual can show documented evidence that they fall within this group, they would not be required to work.
The risk for pregnant women is lower below 28 weeks, so it is hoped the employee would work with the Company to establish if risks can be mitigated, as far as possible, for instance the individual would not undertake higher risk activities (which require PPE) such as intimate care, caring for a child with COVID-19 symptoms and applying first aid.