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Coronavirus and shielding of clinically extremely vulnerable people in England

By June 16, 2020National News

Published 15th June 

Tim Gibbs, Office for National Statistics, said: 

“More than 2.2 million people were advised by the government to shield during the coronavirus pandemic as they had been classified by the NHS as clinically extremely vulnerable. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of people who were completely shielding, 62% reported that they were fully following official advice.” 

Main points: 

  • The Shielding Behavioural Survey was compiled rapidly in response to policy The Shielding Behavioural Survey was compiled rapidly in response to policy questions on whether the population who had been advised to shield were following the guidance issued. 
  • It was produced, run and analysed in a collaboration between the Department for Health and Social Care, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Government Digital Service and the Office for National Statistics. 
  • 2.2 million clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people were advised to shield and 95% report either completely or mostly following government shielding guidance. 
  • The most common reason CEV people left home was for exercise, followed by GP or hospital appointments and shopping for essentials. 
  • An estimated 785,000 (35%) of CEV people report a worsening in their mental health since receiving shielding guidance; this differs by age and gender. 

You can read the full report here (opens in a new tab)  

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