A plea to all NAC patients
As you will be aware the NHS faces unprecedented times due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC) team are extremely busy working on the frontline.
We are currently still trying to offer telephone consultations in place of face to face appointments. However, we are currently overwhelmed with the numbers of calls still required. May we politely request again that you call us to postpone all non-urgent telephone appointments.
Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis (CPA) Patients
Many patients have also been in contact with us regarding NHS social shielding letters and support. The National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC) has now sent letters to all NAC registered patients (and their GPs) who have a diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) advising that they are extremely vulnerable and should follow social shielding advice.
All patients living in England will be added to the government’s list of extremely vulnerable people and can register for support at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
NOTE: There is separate advice for patients living in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. For country-specific information regarding social shielding please follow these web links or contact you GP:
- Wales: https://gov.wales/cmo-letter-extremely-vulnerable-people-support-explained
- Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding-contacts/
- Northern Ireland: There does not seem to be any specific advice that has been published as yet, so you should make enquiries with your GP on how to proceed.
Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) Patients
Patients with Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) and Severe Asthma with Fungal Sensitisation (SAFS) requiring to shield should have been identified by the NHS database searches across the UK. These searches were based on the medication you take to control your asthma. If you have not received a letter and you believe you have severe asthma you should first contact your local respiratory consultant or GP for advice. Please note that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have defined severe asthma for the purposes of COVID-19 as follows:
“asthma that requires treatment with high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (see inhaled corticosteroid doses for NICE’s asthma guideline) plus a second controller and/or systemic corticosteroids to prevent it from becoming ‘uncontrolled’, or which remains ‘uncontrolled’ despite this therapy.”
Aspergillus bronchitis and Aspergillus sinusitis Patients
Aspergillus bronchitis and Aspergillus sinusitis have not been identified as risk factors for serious complications from COVID-19. If you have one of these conditions alone, you should not follow shielding advice. Instead, you should follow social distancing guidelines.