CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE – PULMONARY FIBROSIS AND POLIO [38861] – 21 April 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will urgently make it his policy to include people living with (a) pulmonary fibrosis and (b) the after-effects of polio in the list of people classified as vulnerable and at high risk during the covid-19 outbreak.  [38861]

[Due for Answer on 27 April. Answered on 13 May.] 

HOLDING ANSWER: The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

ANSWER

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care (Jo Churchill): Expert doctors in England have identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we know about the virus so far, place someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These are signed off by the UK Senior Clinicians Group (including four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers and clinical leadership at NHS England, NHS Digital, and Public Health England).

Individuals who have been identified with one of these medical conditions are classed as being clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to shield to protect themselves. Shielding involves staying at home at all times and avoiding all face to face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks.

Pulmonary fibrosis is an interstitial lung disease. Patients with interstitial lung disease (which includes pulmonary fibrosis) have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable.