Shielding Letters: Q&A

Here we answer some questions on shielding letters and how they work. We will add to this as, and when, new information becomes available.

[This piece is part of the COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project — a partnership between Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and FactCheckNI. Its aim is to improve people’s health literacy about COVID-19 by providing accurate and up-to-date information, which will increase knowledge, understanding and confidence and enable people to make good health decisions. FactCheckNI have also produced a live an article explaining what shielding letters are; who should have received them; and who sends them – you can find it here.] Continue reading Shielding Letters: Q&A

What are shielding letters?

This article explains what the shielding letters are; who should have received them; and who sends them.

[This article is part of the COVID-19 Information Dissemination (COVID-19 ID) Project — a partnership between Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) and FactCheckNI. Its aim is to improve people’s health literacy about COVID-19 by providing accurate and up-to-date information which will increase knowledge, understanding and confidence and enable people to make good health decisions. FactCheckNI have also produced a live Q&A article on shielding letters. It will be updated as and when new information becomes available – you can find it here.]

Summary

    • A ‘shielding letter’ is to inform those that they should comply with stricter stay at home restrictions in order to protect themselves from COVID-19.
    • GP Practices were provided with a search tool by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) to aid them in identifying those patients who were the “clinically extremely vulnerable”. GPs were also asked to use their clinical judgement as to who should receive a shielding letter based on the criteria listed. The guidance issued is advisory for the patient’s health, but the UK government advises that if you choose not to follow these regulations, to speak with your GP before reaching the decision.
    • The Department of Health is working closely with Community Pharmacists and Community Health Development Network to ensure that those who are in need of medicines and are ‘shielding’ can avail of pharmacy deliveries.
    • Guidance on shielding for people at potentially higher risk from COVID-19 is being actively reviewed.

Continue reading What are shielding letters?

Are foreigners a financial strain on the NHS in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: “The health service in Northern Ireland will especially benefit from the requirement for foreigners – including those from the Republic of Ireland – to pay for hospital treatment.” – Sammy Wilson, Belfast Telegraph, 19 May 2016

CONCLUSION:  INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Under a variety of different circumstances, foreigners do pay for access to health care already. The proposed legislation would seek ways to extend the scope for foreigners to contribute financially for NHS services, and to increase the incentives for debt recovery. The NHS would save significantly by simply collecting on what it is owed under current exchange schemes with foreign governments. Continue reading Are foreigners a financial strain on the NHS in Northern Ireland?