Coronavirus Updates

Latest updates on Coronavirus. As the situation is quickly evolving, it is important to be provided with up-to-date information. We’ll be updating and adding to our information. So keep checking back.

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05th March 2021

COVID-19 NHS Guidance and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

The GP SOP (in the context of coronavirus COVID-19) has just been updated to version 4.1 (3 March 2021).

Here’s an overview of the changes since the last version (v4.0) on 24 December 2020:

Staff Testing

Lateral flow antigen testing is available in primary care for asymptomatic staff delivering NHS services in England. More information on the roll-out of lateral flow testing can be found on the letter to primary care issued on 16 December 2020.

Prioritisation of Services

The letters to primary care on 7 January 2021 and 3 February 2021 described the additional support and contractual flexibilities to ensure general practice remains open and safe for patients, and to support the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

As capacity allows, Practices should continue to:

  • Focus on restoring routine activity where clinically appropriate, reaching out to clinically vulnerable patients including those most at risk of avoidable hospital admission
  • Proactively address health needs that may have increased, developed or gone unmet during the pandemic and consider health inequalities
  • Support patients with self-care and self-management, where appropriate

Patients at Increased Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19

The Shielded Patient List (SPL) will continue to be updated to help identify patients who may require additional support. Identification and notification of people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) from COVID-19 should continue and patients made aware of this. More information on this process is available on NHS Digital’s website, including template letters to inform people they are being added or removed from the SPL.

The COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment has been developed to help identify people who may be at high risk from COVID-19 and used at a national level to help identify an additional group of patients with specific multiple risk factors which, combined, may put them at similar risk to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to severe outcomes. Patients identified in this way will be added to the SPL.

As part of the current SPL process, you can add or remove a patient at any time.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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