Government guidelines covid19

I am on methotrexate an i score 1 on the scale, so I am not on the shielding list.

I have been on methotrexate for near 2 months with the dosage being increased every month. I had to come off the medication last year for other health issues and we had to be sure the methotrexate wasnt causing it. Im confident that its not however diagnosis for that is still ongoing albeit paused because of the pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic i was told by rheumatology to follow strict social distancing and if work could not facilitate this then i had to speak with employers.
End of march i got a call from my gp, unrelated matter, where he told me to self isolate as part of shielding an not to go to work. I followed this advice and after 2 weeks my employer contacted me saying i had to either provide a shielding letter or return to work.
Speaking to my gp he confirmed that even he did not understand the guidelines and he felt people were being discriminated against. He confirmed i am not in the high risk category and if i hadnt recieved a shielding letter then i probably wouldn't.
So this leaves me to return to work. Being a key worker (police officer) as you can imagine social distancing is not an option for some. I have an office based post, not public facing, so i can limit my risk however i am still in contact with front line officers who have no ppe and are regularly dealing with the public and not social distancing themselves.
This is obviously an concern for me as it would be fair to say that the majority is either infected or carrying. There are people that have developed symptoms and tested positive. My employers have done very little in response to the pandemic or risk to officers. For me to remain at work i feel it would only be a matter of time before i contract covid19 and i have no idea what the risk is for me. Being told i am in the vulnerable grp but to do no more than general healthy people? Would suggest to me im no more at risk than joe bloggs with no underlying health condition.

I do not understand how i can be classed as at risk (not high) an be following the same advice/measures as the rest of the public.

Also I have regular flare ups as my arthritis is not under control. I would normally go for a steroid injection untill meds work however i cant due to the risk. Does the flare ups and the fact that the disease is not controlled put me at an additional risk?

My workplace is not taking the virus serious and never will. I will continue to fight with them however nothing will change fast and during that time i am continuing to put myself at risk.

I also don't understand how there is such a jump between at risk and high risk. At risk have no additional protection.

The guidelines are completely unclear. Probably because arthritis and its treatment is so complex and can cover every end of the scale.

Should all people in the risk group not have some level of protection. More protection for the high risk obviously?

I think this is something that needs to be addressed of there is any risk to people in the same category or circumstances as me.


  • Gemthom85
    Gemthom85 Member Posts: 26
    Is it just me or is the government guidelines not make any sense. Having an at risk grp. High risk have been given great level of protection however the remainder of the group have to carry on with the same guidance as joe bloggs with no underlying health condition....
  • YvonneH
    YvonneH Member Posts: 1,076

    Hi Gemthom85,

    Welcome to the forum. It is very hard with such conflicting information, being told we have to take care of ourselves as our responsibility but then being told we still have to work is difficult to understand. As your arthritis is still not controlled and as your consultant said you need strict adherence to social distancing which your work cannot provide maybe in this case they would be able to change your status. Your GP isn't the one primarily dealing with your treatment for inflammatory arthritis. It's worth a try.

    Let us know how you get on

    Yvonne x

  • Gemthom85
    Gemthom85 Member Posts: 26
    Thanks for the advice. I have tried to contact rheumatology nurse however i imagine they are extremely busy and under staffed. I will continue to make efforts tho and let you know the outcome.
  • The guidelines gemthom85 seem very confusing and I think are being interpreted differently depending on hospital which is difficult for us to understand. I’m very similar to yourself newly diagnosed and on methotrexate and for 7 weeks if I look at the scoring it’s 1 yet I’ve been told to shield. Your not the first person that I am aware of that doesn’t have a letter on similar meds but I also wonder if mine is over precautionary when I see other people haven’t got the same advice. Keep safe hope you get some clear answers
  • Gemthom85
    Gemthom85 Member Posts: 26
    Thanks Michelleho!
    Hopefully i can get in touch with rheumatology today?
  • Gemthom85
    Gemthom85 Member Posts: 26
    Spoke with rheumatology today who have confirmed that i am not in the shielding category. They are compiling a letter to assist with the problems I'm experiencing at work but ultimately their hands are tied.
    Apparelty my employer has responsibility to assist with my requirements. I know they won't! They think a desk for me in the corner is social distancing an that's all they need to provide me with.