New high risk groups eligible for Covid treatment

The Frimley and Surrey Heartlands Covid Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU) has been operating since December 2021 to provide Covid-19 treatments for patients at the highest risk in our community.

The CMDU follows guidance from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as to which people are in the highest-risk groups.  NICE regularly reviews its guidance, and this has recently been updated to identify additional conditions or circumstances which would make someone high risk.  The CMDU will therefore be applying this guidance from 1 June 2024.  Listed below are the additional high risk groups which have been identified:

  • people aged 85 years and over
  • people with end-stage heart failure who have a long-term ventricular assistance device
  • people on the organ transplant waiting list
  • people aged 70 years and over, or who have a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or more, diabetes or heart failure, and:
    • are resident in a care home, or
    • are already hospitalised

Existing high-risk groups include:

  • people with Down’s syndrome
  • certain types of cancer, including leukaemia
  • certain conditions affecting the blood, such as sickle cell disease
  • people who have had a stem cell transplant
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • people who have had an organ transplant
  • conditions affecting the immune system, such as HIV or AIDS, inflammatory conditions or immunodeficiency
  • conditions affecting the brain or nerves (multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis).

If you, or someone you care for, is in one of the high-risk groups, you may be able to pick up free COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests from your local pharmacy.

You can find out if a pharmacy near you is offering free tests using the Find a Pharmacy Service.

If you, or someone you care for, tests positive for Covid-19 and are in one of the high-risk groups, you can call 03000 24 0000 (available 24 hours a day 7 days a week) for assessment.

Published on 31 May 2024