New UK forum to draw up Covid-19 safety advice for people with a brain injury
A UK-wide call has gone out for expert Covid-19 advice for people with brain injury as, nationally, ‘shielding’ is now being urged to protect those who are ‘extremely vulnerable’.
The Neurological Alliance and the Brain and Spine Foundation have jointly launched the Neuro COVID-19 Response Forum in a bid to create a cohesive approach to protecting people with neurological conditions during the pandemic.
The forum will provide an online space for real-time collaboration between neurology experts in developing need-specific Covid-19 guidance for patients, clients, families and carers.
Government guidelines specifically aimed at supporting people with complex neurological needs had by today (07 April 20) yet to emerge.
Public health officials are in the process of compiling ‘rapid guidelines’ and ‘rapid evidence summaries’ for each of the UK’s wide-ranging health specialisms, based on their distinctive risks and needs.
But people identified as being extremely vulnerable from Covid-19 on medical grounds are being given priority, including those who have:
- Received a solid organ transplant.
- Some types of cancer and are receiving some types of treatment.
- Severe respiratory conditions - Cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, severe COPD.
- Some types of rare disease - SCID, homozygous sickle cell.
- Some forms of immunosuppression therapy.
Women who are pregnant and have significant heart disease, congenital or acquired, are also deemed extremely vulnerable to Covid-19.
NHS England and GPs are directly contacting people with the listed conditions to provide further advice, but anyone believing themselves or someone else to be vulnerable who is not contacted should alert their GP.
In the meantime, vulnerable people are being urged to practise ‘shielding’ now to protect them from Covid-19 infection.
What is shielding?
- Stay at home at all times.
- Avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.
- People providing you with essential support – health, personal or social care - should continue unless they have Covid-19 symptoms.
- All visitors should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when they arrive and often while they are there.
Neurologists’ guide to Covid-19
The Association of British Neurologists (ABN) has drawn up its guidelines to help doctors and carers assess Covid-19 risks to neurology patients and clients.
The advice encompasses specific neurological disease groups, ‘high risk’ conditions, and immunosuppression considerations.
In summary, the ABN recommends the following for all people with a neurological condition, their family and carers:
- Stick to social distancing rules. Free downloadable easy-read guide here:
- Those in the high-risk categories should self-isolate. Free downloadable easy-read guide here:
- Carefully assess risk if other conditions are affecting the lungs, heart, kidneys, etc.
- People with neurological conditions resulting in frailty, or who are frail as a result of age or other conditions, are at increased risk from Covid-19.
Free downloadable Covid-19 advice and support for brain injury survivors and their families is available here: Krysalis public resources page
More information about the Neuro COVID-19 Response Forum and how to join here: Neuro covid-19 response forum
Government support for people who are extremely vulnerable due to a medical condition can be found here: Gov.uk - advice for the severely vulnerable
Further information about shielding here: Shielding and protecting the extremely vulnerable in our society