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Hi everyone, just a bit confused re government letter being sent out to U.K citizens in the high risk category.

I haven't received a letter as yet, I have moderate COPD, so wondering if that would come under "at risk" and not high.

Have any of you received this letter?

Many thanks!

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  • Edited

    just found this on nhs 111.....

    The algorithm looks to identify:

    People who have had an organ transplant who remain on long term immune suppression therapy

    People with specific cancers - people:

    with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer

    with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment

    having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer

    having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors

    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. Severe asthmatics are those who are frequently prescribed high dose steroid tablets.

    People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)

    People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection

    People who are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease

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  • Edited

    Hi Susan 46141,

    I have my letter, it arrived on the first day they were meant to get to people, and I also receive regular daily messages on my smartphone with reminders, and any updated changes. I have Severe COPD, stage 3 of 4, irreversible. Not sure if you'll have been given any of those descriptions for yours. But, having said all of that, MANDY 83 has said everything which applies in this instance. Another minor matter would be, if you have had to be hospitalised as an emergency case, that would 'qualify' you for the letter, too.

    As someone like Mandy 83, who has the letter, I would add that Mandy mentioned the information being on the Website, and that is where you could look to read up about anything you aren't sure about. The TV covers most parts on the News and other events throughout the day, so I always listen on there, just in case something has completely changed.

    If it really does bother you, then you could call your GP or the 111 service for advice.

    Mandy 83 has said all of the facts, she is absolutely correct with all she says.

    Best Wishes,


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  • Edited

    Good evening Susan

    Hope you are keeping safe and well.

    My understanding is the definition of severe is based on spirometry , with an FEV 1 of 50% or less of predicted values. Those like me with a reading of 72% are on the list of advised to operate shielding so avoiding contact with anyone who doesnt live with us.

    Best wishes


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  • Edited

    In America we don't expect any such letters or proclamations. That does not suggest that we are not informed. My COPD puts me in the category where if I were to contract Covid-19, it would most likely kill me.

    Unless you are a young and healthy and under 30 years old , I would say you have a greater risk from Covid-19 . To be safe don't qualify your risk or rate your chances. Unless you are a medical or public safety worker then STAY HOME !!!

    Trying to spin the Pandemic to suit your personal situation is just selfish and could further promote the unnecessary spread of this virus. Stop thinking that the rules apply to everyone accept you.

    All the Best

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    • Posted

      Determining the severity of ones illness is (and should be) private between a patient and their Dr.. One should not need their government to list "at risk" persons to know they are at greater risk.

      If such a letter list ways to gain assistance in this crisis, that's good as not everyone is computer savvy (especially the very elderly). At risk categories should not be needed to access help.

      My point earlier was that too many people spin the situation to fit their custom case. In fact, being young or healthy or anything else prevents them from contracting Covid-19 or spreading it to others.

      Unless you have a critical job, are going to buy groceries, or having prescriptions filled then STAY HOME !!!

      I've meant no harm, but those not isolating for the greater good of all need to be punished. Valid reasons to go out should also include restaurant take out and driving to work.

      All the Best

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    • Edited

      I don't see the poster saying she wishes to take advantage of the situation either. She is merely asking a question.

      High risk people are advised to self isolate and it can be a good idea for anyone even at a lower risk. Everyone else is expected to practice social distancing and I certainly am.

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    • Posted


      I did not and still don't fully understand about this "letter" that qualifies and seems to grant the more "at risk" to greater services.

      Who makes the parameters that determine who is more at risk? What about that poor fellow who should be on oxygen, but does not qualify due to his oxygen level not satisfying some arbitrary rules set up to protect a health care system or insurance industry.

      If you qualify for these extra benefits then may god bless you, but the UK system does not sound so fair. Additionally, the rich that can more afford to pay for services than can those less fortunate. It singles out those poor and not quite sick enough to receive these special benefits.

      Yes, in America the rich too have the same advantage, but no one is boxed into a corner, with respect to COVID-19, while others get prefered services. Help is available to all through church groups and other social organizations. I'm sure that it is also true in the UK.

      Due to a lack of understanding with regard to the Uk health system, I may have not at first fully understood about these "letters". To me, anyone even a little sick is at a "higher risk". Separating people into groups at this time is in my opinion wrong and can only foster greater bad feelings in the future. Treat a Popper like a Prince and cut out this system that segregates even for the best of intentions.

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    • Posted

      Larry, your lack of awareness of how medicine and money work in the States is APPALLING. In 2018, almost 10% of our population had zero health insurance. That number has probably hit 20% -35% in the last 2 weeks. Churches help with medical care??? In all my adult life in and around churches, i've only known one church to do that, and that was only because of 2 circumstances: it was an unprogrammed Quaker meeting with no one on payroll, with a member died of AIDS in the '90s and left the proceeds from his house to be used for members' medical expenses. Churches don't have enough money to pay people's medical expenses. Whatever you are smoking, it ain't reality serum. Before COVID-19, of those with some health insurance at least 20% were seriously underinsured. That means they had enough insurance to get a hangnail treated, but not much else.

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  • Edited

    There is another post in the COPD forum, something like "Let's talk Coronavirus" which you might want to be in tho clearly your question has been answered here. That answer might initially feel like being left out in a sense but very shortly you'll see that it is actually good news: You're not as sick as you thought! Here in the States we've got no guidelines for specific lung issues. i am doubly concerned between my bronchiectasis/chronic bronchitis and the fact that i've been on steroid tabs for more than a month (on top of 2 inhaled steroids i use twice daily). Yet i am so much better off than so many others here.

    Come chat with us in the other thread where we talk about our fears and how we feel living with our lungs and this threat.

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