Important notice – inaccurate letters from GPs

Posted on April 16th 2020

It has come to our attention today, 16th April, that some people with pulmonary hypertension are receiving letters from their GP surgeries advising they do not need to shield. These letters are out of date and should be ignored.  If you have pulmonary hypertension it is VITAL that you shield.

We can absolutely confirm that the definition by NHS England identifies people with PH as ‘high risk’.

The letter you may receive from your GP practice may include the following wording:

You recently have been contacted by NHS England informing you to Shield and that you are at high risk for developing complications from Covid 19.

NHS England have asked General Practice to validate and check these registers which were carried out centrally using nationally held data that may sometimes be inaccurate. Our clinicians have gone through all the patient notes that have been highlighted as ‘high risk’ to check this is correct. This is to ensure patients are given relevant and up to date advice.

After reviewing your full medical records, we do not agree that you meet the strict criteria of being at high risk of developing complications of Covid 19.

Despite the date they may show, these letters were generated before guidance was updated and we are very concerned that they are reaching vulnerable people. Please DO NOT follow the advice in these letters and instead adhere to the current instruction to shield if you have pulmonary hypertension.

Please pass this information on to anyone you know who is not online.

We understand this miscommunication by others may cause some anxiety, which is why we have moved extremely quickly to bring you this notice. Please be reassured that we continue to work hard to ensure our own information is up-to-date.