NHS Scotland is currently working to identify and help proactively manage patients who are at particularly high risk of severe morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.
This group has been identified, based on expert consensus, and include the following categories:
- Solid organ transplant recipients
- People with specific cancers
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
- People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
- People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell disease)
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
People identified as being in these groups are being sent a letter with advice on how to protect themselves and access the care and treatment they need during this time. (you can find the letter attached below for info).
A new national helpline is being set up to provide essential assistance to those who don’t have a network of support but who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
The helpline – 0800 111 4000 – will initially operate during core working hours of 09:00 to 17:00 while plans are developed and implemented to extend it to operate for a longer period each day.
To read more about who can access the helpline, and what help they can offer, you can visit the Scottish Government website.