Advice to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid that they should follow shielding guidance will begin to pause across the UK from the end of March. Dates vary between UK countries, with advice pausing in England and Wales on 31 March, 26th April in Scotland. We expect the date for Northern Ireland to be announced soon. Kidney Care UK very much hope that this will mark the end of the final period of shielding, but this depends on the continuation of a reduction in infection rates within the community and the success of the vaccination rollout.
Fiona Loud, Policy Director of Kidney Care UK, said: “After a year of shielding there is a balance of cautious optimism and understandable concern from the 70,000 clinically extremely vulnerable people with kidney disease that this could be the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Understandably, anxiety is high with these individuals and there are challenges to physical, mental and financial health that all need urgent attention. The pause in shielding is because of a reduction in infection rate and not because everyone has now been fully vaccinated. Those with kidney disease will still need to rely on the general public to be sensible, follow social distancing measures and continue to wash hands regularly and wear face coverings. At times throughout the pandemic shielding kidney patients told us they felt like they had been forgotten about so it is absolutely vital that support is in place to enable people coming out of shielding to start to benefit from the freedoms that so many people will be able to take advantage of straight away.”
- Priority online shopping lists will be maintained until the end of June but you are advised that you can go to the shops, ideally choosing a less busy time
- Furlough is available until the end of September
- Advice remains in place to maintain stringent hygiene measures and social distancing
- The Shielding Patient list will be maintained
- Advice to work from home where possible remains in place
- Children are expected to go back to school unless advised otherwise by their clinical teams
Very importantly, the reduction in cases and reopening of society means vital NHS services for kidney patients can restart. We welcome this and hope to see the backlog in services and surgeries addressed, including the full reopening of transplant services, which are currently showing a 28% drop in deceased donation and a 62% decrease in living donation over the past 11 months.
- There is full information for all of the UK on our coronavirus guidance page
- If you have been shielding and are in England you will be receiving a letter or email from the government to explain more
- If you’d like to let us know your thoughts on this, please get in touch at [email protected]
- If you haven't already signed up to hear the latest news and information from us you can do so on our sign-up page.
MyRenalCare app helps kidney patients take...
The virtual care and consultation digital app, supported by Kidney Care UK, helps kidney patients manage th...
Stark reality of kidney disease showcased ...
Thanks to an interactive pop-up ‘kidney disease experience’, shoppers in the Highcross Centre, Leicester, w...