Shielding during COVID-19

Are you shielding? Or do you provide support for someone who needs to shield?
We want to hear from you – click here to take our survey

Approximately 80,000 people in Northern Ireland have been impacted by the advice to shield.

The Patient and Client Council wants to hear from those who have been advised to shield due to the risks of COVID-19, and those who are supporting them.

The purpose of this engagement is to understand the impact shielding has had on individuals, to inform the steps and processes that must be considered now and in the future, and to ensure that the voice of those impacted by shielding is heard.
This is the beginning of a constant conversation.

The health, social and economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cannot be understated. Our lives have had to change causing significant impact to individuals and their families who have been advised to ‘shield’ on account of their condition/s.

You, or someone you know, may have received a letter from your doctor or hospital clinician to advise that you are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19; as such you need to be ‘shielded’. In giving you this advice the priority has been to protect those most likely to be acutely affected by coronavirus and their families, in turn helping to protect our health and social care services.

The Department of Health recognises that from your direct experience of shielding, you have a unique insight into its impact and the measures required to support the transition from shielding to public engagement. As such, we kindly call upon your support with our consultation on this subject. The evidence and insights gathered will assess the level of impact that shielding has had on and will inform the Department of Health on the key issues for consideration in planning the further easing of restrictions.

The survey covers:

  • How you have been affected by shielding;
  • What are the most important things to you;
  • What support you have had to help you deal with the impact of shielding;
  • What measures of support are required if you are advised to continue to shield in some way;
  • What information is needed to support you to safely ease the restrictions on shielding.

To complete the survery see here

Or you can download the survey here and post it back to us at Freepost, Patient and Client Council or email it to

You can also complete the survery over the phone by calling 0800 917 0222.

Survey Translations

To download the survey in Arabic click here

To download the survey in Polish click here

To download the survey in Romanian click here

To download the survey in Lithuanian click here