Luton children's: how coronavirus is affecting our services

Children (0-18) and shielding

Last updated 6 July 2020

The majority of children who have been previously identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will no longer need to shield.

Does my child need to continue shielding?

Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From Saturday 1 August, the guidance will be paused so clinically vulnerable people of all ages will no longer need to be advised to shield.

Children will only be removed from the shielded patient list by their GP or specialist doctor following consultation with the child and their family. Specialists and GPs will be asked to contact children and their families to discuss this over the summer. Families do not need to take any immediate action. We expect these consultations to happen over the summer.

Children who are removed will not be advised to shield again if government guidance on shielding is changed in the future.

If your child is transitioning to adult services before 31 July, you should have a discussion with their current and future specialist to determine whether your child should continue shielding.

GPs and specialist clinicians have been informed of the changing guidance.

Why is this changing?

The original shielded patients list was intended to identify people with conditions that put them at highest clinical risk from Covid-19, based on the evidence available at the time. It was developed early in the outbreak when there was less evidence and data on the groups most at risk from Covid-19.

Specialists in the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) have looked at the most recent evidence specific to children and developed specific guidance. The Chief Medical Officer and senior clinicians have reviewed the guidance and are confident in their findings and advice.

The latest evidence shows that risks to children are low and only those with a certain medical conditions are likely to be advised to shield if shielding needs to be reintroduced in the future.

Can my child return to school/nursery?

Children should continue to shield until 31 July. From 1 August, following the pausing of guidance, children will be able to return to school or nursey in line with their peers and school terms.

More information

Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health (RCPCH) guidance:

Shielding guidance:

Last updated 5 June 2020

In order to deliver the best possible patient care during the coronavirus outbreak, we will be reorganising aspects of our services. Please see the details below and for which services will be continuing, what changes will be made, and what will be suspended until further notice. Please also check back to this page in future for further updates

Service contact details

Our services remain contactable and responsive. Please get in touch on the telephone lines specified below.

For Luton children’s services, please phone our single point of contact number on: 0333 405 0087.

The only exceptions to this are:

  • Our children’s community nursing, continuing care and rapid response services can be contacted on: 0333 405 0079
  •  Our nutrition and dietetics service (for children and adults) can be contacted on: 01582 707400
  • ChatHealth confidential text messaging service for 11-19 year olds: 07520 616070
  • Parentline - a confidential advice and support text messaging service for Luton parents and carers of children aged 0-19 years - 07507 331886

Our social media channels will continue to deliver updates on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Changes by service

Last updated 5 June 2020

Safeguarding services: will deliver only Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH); statutory child protection meetings and home visits; and direct safeguarding (reducing time spent on Serious Case Reviews (SCRs).

Looked After Children team: will only deliver services to meet prioritised needs (e.g. those at increased risk of harm from social isolation); safeguarding work (case review not routine checks); telephone advice (could be undertaken regionally); and initial health assessments (see community paediatricians below).

Pre-birth and 0-5 service (health visiting): will deliver only ante-natal visits and support (joint approach to be developed with midwifery colleagues); telephone and text advice (digital signposting); new birth visits; follow up of high risk mothers, babies and families; Guthrie (blood spot) screening.

School nursing (5-19): will deliver only telephone and text services, safeguarding and specialist school nursing services

Children’s community nursing services: will deliver only urgent care; continuing care and end of life care

Occupational therapy, dietetics: will deliver only urgent care services.  

Speech and language therapy: offering telephone and video consultations where possible, and continue to provide face-to-face appointments to those who clinically need this.

Community paediatricians: will deliver only services/interventions deemed clinical priorities, child protection medicals, telephone advice, and urgent referrals for LAC initial health assessments (some routine referrals may be delayed with appropriate support e.g. initial basic advice).

Newborn hearing screening: will deliver only maternity unit based screening including PKU. 

Epilepsy service: will deliver only urgent care services. 

The following services will stop:

· Audiology services
· Vision screening

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