WHILST new general guidance has been issued to people who are considered to be at high risk and have been shielding, a Ludlow GP says that it is not a case of one size fits all.

Dr Caron Morton, of Station Drive Surgery, says that if in doubt it is best to seek individual advice from the GP.

“Fundamentally you need to take into consideration several specific characteristics particular to the patient, such as exactly what their work entails, who lives at home and who else is at risk, their reason for shielding but also how well they manage infections generally in relation to age and nutritional status,” said Dr Morton.

At the start of the lockdown process people who were considered to be especially vulnerable were written to and advised that they needed to shield.

The people at greatest risk included those with poor immunity, including some cancer patients, people with lung conditions and those that had received hard organ transplants in the past.

Now the rules are changing because throughout the epidemic there has been a clear need to balance the risk of the disease to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable with the benefits of gradually returning to normal life.

The shielding process has been challenging and traumatic and there will be a need for people to adjust.

But the latest scientific evidence shows that the prevalence of disease across all English regions has continued to decline.

More is also known about the disease and who are the most vulnerable as well as new ways of caring for people who become ill.

For the vast majority of people who catch the virus, it is a mild or moderate illness, but because Ludlow has a higher than average proportion of older people who are also more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions a greater number have needed to shield from it.