On the 22 of March 2020 the Prime Minister issued specific COVID-19 guidance for the most vulnerable people living with chronic illness in the UK. This advised ‘shielding’ measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection and the risks from COVID-19. Patients receiving Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN) were not initially included in the ’shielding’ group, but NHS England updated their advice on 29 March to include HPN patients. However, NHS organisations have advised HPN patients to shield.
On the 30 May 2020 the government announced that people in England and Wales who have been shielding will be able to go outside once a day from 1 June 2020, with their household or, if they live alone, to meet one other person in public whilst maintaining the two-metre social distancing guidance. We acknowledge that for some this will be welcome news, whilst for others it may lead to uncertainty about what to do. Currently there is no change to the guidance in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We would encourage patients to discuss their, or their child’s, individual circumstances with their nutrition team and continue to follow the advice on social distancing and hand washing. These measures are particularly important if you do decide to go outside, remembering that in some areas there are many more people coming out of the lockdown measures.
We would advise all HPN patients to remain very cautious and vigilant. New cases of Coronavirus continue to be reported every day and the number may increase as the lockdown is released; if the numbers do increase then the government are likely to advise full shielding again and it is possible that this may happen within the next few weeks.
Stay informed and continue to check the information for your country via the official websites. We are aware that the NHS are planning to publish more information and guidance in the near future.
Further support and advice can be obtained from PINNT www.pinnt.com