Shielding advice please : Hey everyone... - Asthma UK communi...

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Shielding advice please

Katrina21 profile image

Hey everyone.

I have asthma and have a Symbicort inhaler morning and night and a ventolin one for as needed and montelukast once a night.

I have recently had prednisolone and on antibiotics at the min for wheezing and a cough.

I also have a neurological condition however I haven’t received a text/call to say I should shield so I phoned my GP surgery and explained my employer wants an NHS letter to say I have to shield but she said I am not a category A risk and don’t need to shield and wasn't helpful.

All the sites I’ve read say I should shield.

Can anyone offer any advice please as I’m not sure what is correct.



10 Replies

Hi Katrina

I am in the same boat 2 x Seretide 250 twice a day + Singulair nightly and nothing except Asthma uk listing. No letter/text etc

This is Gov Policy

The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.

If you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed above and you have not received a letter by Sunday 29 March 2020 or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.

Hope it goes well

Katrina21 profile image
Katrina21 in reply to

Hey thanks for that. I’m going to ring on Monday and ask to speak to my GP as I fall under the asthma and my other condition guidelines but the receptionist at the surgery wouldn’t offer any help at all.

It’s really confusing and stressful this.

I work in the community and really don’t want to put myself at risk x

Poobah profile image
Poobah in reply to Katrina21

This is so distressing for many asthmatics who are at risk if they contract coronavirus.

In normal times GPs are often reluctant to get involved in occupational health decisions - advising the employer on steps to take to protect the patient.

There is legislation that governs health and safety in the workplace and all employers have a legal duty of care for their employees. Any potential risk to the employee has to be identified and minimised. For those employees covered by the Equality Act 2010, there are protections that apply in the workplace - an asthmatic is considered disabled for the purposes of the Act. This means employers must take all reasonable steps to make adjustments that ensure the employees safety, welfare while giving them access to work.

In the current pandemic employers are legally obliged to protect all their staff and to ensure their safety at work. Government have made it clear that they expect those in the workplace have the ability to practice strict social distancing.

If the employer does not know what to do then they should seek occupational health advice who can review the workplace and/or duties of the employee. Larger employers usually have in-house occ health personnel. Smaller employers use private consultants.

If your duties prevent you from practicing social distancing then speak to your employer about measures they have introduced to help you carry out your duties safely.

Government has also stressed they expect non key workplaces to close in order for staff to stay home.

Katrina21 profile image
Katrina21 in reply to Poobah

Thank you 😊

According to Asthma U.K.;

The current high risk groups are adults and children who are taking:

Any biologic therapy, also called a mAb (Xolair/omalizumab, Nucala/mepolizumab, Cinqaero/reslizumab, Fasenra/benralizumab)

Steroid tablets or liquid every day

Antibiotic tablets or liquid for asthma every week (e.g. azithromycin)


A combination inhaler that also contains a long-acting bronchodilator (e.g. Seretide, Fostair, Symbicort) at a high daily steroid dose (speak to your doctor about whether you are on a high dose or not)

An inhaler with a high daily steroid dose (speak to your doctor if you're not sure if you're on this type of inhaler) AND you are taking Montelukast

Or, if:

You have been admitted to hospital for your asthma in the last 12 months.

You have ever been admitted to an intensive care unit for your asthma.

I personally, on the advice of my consultant, take 2 x puffs of Ventolin in the morning, immediately followed by 2 x puffs of Fostair 200/6, which is immediately followed by 2 x draws of Tiotropium (Spiriva). Evening sees another 2 x puffs of Ventolin, immediately followed by 2 x puffs of Fostair 200/6 - then a Montelukast tablet at bedtime, followed by 2 hypertension medications - and a low dose aspirin (due to carrying a blood clotting gene). I received the NHS text message last Monday and received the letter on Thursday.

See I’m on symbicort, ventolin and montelukast but I haven’t received anything 🤷‍♀️

Definitely check with your doctor Katrina21. A receptionist is not medically trained, so is unable to make decisions regarding your medications. BTW - as well as all the medications I am taking, I am fast racing towards my 74th birthday, so that puts me up another level as well...🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

I take symbicort and ventolin when needed and I haven't heard anything yet. Been keeping clear of shops. Really don't know what I'm supposed to be doing? I also have autoimmune hyperthyroidism, Graves Disease. It's all a bit vague but I also don't want to risk Covid 19. My husband has cirrhosis so don't want to bring it to him either .

Katrina21 profile image
Katrina21 in reply to purple64

It is very confusing we should be shielding I’m waiting to speak to my dr on Monday x

allanh profile image
allanh in reply to Katrina21

I think when you are on symbicort 200 the experts are saying we are not high risk

If you have COPD or on symbicort400 you are category A

I am on symbicort 200 and also ventolin but with the coronavirus I feel tight chest

I have upped my inhalers but it could be the thought of the virus that we all feel a little anxious

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