Self isolation or social distancing at patients discretion

I have had my risk assessed using the British society for rheumatology using the risk scoring guide and fall into the middle category to self isolate or social distance at patients discretion. I'd like to self isolate so I'm not taking any unnecessary risk but work are asking for a self isolate note but as for as I can tell you can only get them if you're showing symptoms or living with someone with symptoms. What do I do?


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 663
    edited 29. Mar 2020, 10:52

    Hi Ploiz,

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum, I hope you find it useful in answering your question.

    Looking at the website it says "Those who have COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an “isolation note” by visiting NHS 111 online and completing an online form, rather than visiting a doctor." Perhaps this is a way forward for you?

    If the combination of input from forum members and information available on our website is unable to answer your question then you could call our helpline on 0800 520 0520 open Mon - Fri 09:00 18:00.

    Best wishes

    Chrisb (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Ploiz
    Ploiz Member Posts: 8
    The NHS website only offers an option to self isolate if your showing symptoms. Why can't they just make things simple 🙄
  • Weepth2k10
    Weepth2k10 Member Posts: 27
    Hi Ploiz,
    i was in same boat as you, at odds with my employer that i should be following the governments advice to isolate.
    They wanted to see the letter sent out by the nhs to sheild. I explained i was not on the extremely vulnarable catagory but at high risk, showed them the meds i take and biologic alert card, but they didnt really care.
    I called my local nhs rheumatology advice line to confirm (which i knew) what group i was in and for advice. I again spoke with my boss who then allowed me paid leave but have to provide evidence in due course. So i emailed the rheumatology advice line asking if they could provide me with evidence due to my circumstances. Around 3 hours later i got a reply from a rheumatology cinsultant to confirm i should be isolating at home and not be doing public facing duties during the current pandemic.
    Iam not sure how the rheumatology in your area deal with things but maybe this is somthing you could do. I felt as if i was begging to protect myself.
    Take care.
  • Ploiz
    Ploiz Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for the info weepth2k10 I'll try getting into contact with my rheumatology consultant tomorrow, unfortunately I don't have a direct contact email or number so means battling the hospital switch board which is always fun. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • oxnop
    oxnop Member Posts: 2

    Hi I'm in the same position - strongly advised social isolation. It’s frustrating and we need more help in different ways.

    I don't know if rheumatology is the only specialism that has done the risk assessment in that way - makes sense on one hand as too many in the shielding group is self-defeating. But if we are not registered as a vulnerable category whether for access to support or to persuade employers to do the right thing, it is bad. Some will go out to shop or to work against advice.

    I’ve just heard from my clinic that British Society for Rheumatology has updated advice to clinicians on Friday, but that’s not yet on their website. As far as I can understand there will still be a middle category.

    Versus Arthritis – this will be a growing problem and it is not really covered by any guidance. If you can get clarity and publicise it that will save calls to clinicians and help those in the group

    To anyone whose employer is not listening – go to your union if you have one or failing that, HR should help.

  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi Oxnop,

    Welcome to the community, I'm glad you were able to find us, and thank you for diving in to a very difficult issue for those in the 'choose' option.

    I agree with the advice to contact HR or your union if your line manager is struggling to work through the myriad of calls on their time right now.

    Please check our other threads to share your knowledge and advice and also to have a bit of light relief from concentrating on the COVID-19 issue

    Take care

    Yvonne x

  • Weepth2k10
    Weepth2k10 Member Posts: 27
    I had to fight my own battle with work and only contacted the rheumatology department as a last resort, my union rep (unite union, think i may be putting in a greivance) is as much use as a chocolate fire guard!
    Gotta fight your case!
  • Ploiz
    Ploiz Member Posts: 8
    I rang the rheumatology department today and they said I have to sort it with work, they will not supply and supporting letters. This has left me so angry 😡
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Isolation notes for employers can be obtained at:

  • Ploiz
    Ploiz Member Posts: 8
    @mike1 that link is only for isolation notes for people showing symptoms or living with someone showing symptoms.

    Anyway I've finally had some success with the GP he has confirmed he will be sending me a letter.