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Coronavirus explained for families with vulnerable children

Coronavirus is a viral disease affecting thousands of people across the UK. Although currently it is believed that children have milder symptoms than adults, for children with complex health care needs getting any infection can be life-threatening, especially for those who are in an extremely vulnerable group.

In many cases, children with complex health needs have been identified through their hospital records as having health needs which need to be highlighted to staff during the coronavirus pandemic. These families will have been sent a letter from their GP or hospital service about isolating or ‘shielding’. If you feel you should have received a letter like this because you have a vulnerable child at risk for COVID-19, but haven’t, please contact either your GP or our community paediatric service on: 0300 029 5050.


A very small number of children remain on the CEV list.

The list still includes those with risk of severe infection due to their primary immunodeficiency or those with very specific immunosuppression as part of their cancer therapy.

Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school while this advice is in place. Your child’s school will make appropriate arrangements for them to be able to continue their education at home. Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school.

This advice has been issued following Guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) working with paediatric specialties to review the medical evidence that is now available. . 

Common Questions and Answers

There is advice for carers and covid infection home care provision . All people coming to your home should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival to your house. For help understanding what shielding means this web link has more information:

What Shielding means?

Supporting children with complex health needs who become unwell during the Coronavirus (Covid 19) Pandemic

Who's Who (Kate Maltby)

Every effort will be made to support children in the community to avoid hospital admission. The community paediatricians are available to support you at this time.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 **Monday to Friday 08:30am – 4:30pm excluding bank holidays** ask to speak to the community paediatricians.

If, however, your child is suddenly unwell, you should contact emergency services in the normal way.

If it is life threatening, call 999 for an ambulance.

Children will be seen in a safe environment in A&E.

If your child needs to attend hospital try to have a copy of their health passport or a recent clinic letter with you. Some families find it helpful to have a video clip of their child when they are well, so professionals understand what they are usually like.

Families also need to consider how they will support children if they need admission to hospital. Currently one adult is allowed to attend with a child in hospital and only if that adult is not positive for Coronavirus (Covid 19). .

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