The NHS across the country is offering new treatments to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection and who are at highest risk of going to hospital and becoming seriously ill.

You are eligible for COVID-19 treatments if all of the following apply:

  • you’re aged 12 or over
  • you’re at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 (see list below)
  • you have symptoms of COVID-19 that started within the last 7 days
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have formally registered a lateral flow test (registered via gov.uk or via 119) within the last 7 days

Most of the highest risk patients are being contacted with information on how they may be considered to receive these treatments if they test positive. This will usually be by a text, email or phone call from your GP or local NHS hospital service.

In the event of a positive formally registered Lateral flow test, eligible highest risk patients will be contacted directly to discuss the treatment and confirm eligibility.

Who is considered highest risk?

You may be at highest risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you have:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • sickle cell disease
  • HIV or AIDS
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
  • certain types of cancer
  • had certain types of chemotherapy in the last 12 months
  • had radiotherapy in the last 6 months
  • had an organ transplant
  • a severe liver condition (such as cirrhosis)
  • a rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
  • certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions
  • a condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections

On the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, patients in this group should take a lateral flow test and register the positive result on the Government website or by calling 119, or take a PCR test. A doctor or specialist will then confirm if you are eligible for treatment.

If you have previously been identified as someone in an at highest risk group that could benefit from treatment, you will be contacted within 24 hours of registering your positive test.

If you belong to one of the above groups and think you might be eligible but you have not been contacted after 24 hours of registering your positive test, then you should contact your GP.

Treatments

The new treatments can help some people manage their COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill.

A doctor or specialist will discuss with you which treatment options, if any, are best for you based on your medical needs. They will recommend which treatment is best for you and can tailor the treatment for you. In order to do this they will need to know what medications you are taking including prescribed medication or any other remedies or vitamins.

In Sussex, the usual treatments are Nirmatrelvir plus Ritonavir (Paxlovid®) which is an antiviral medicine taken as tablets, or Sotrovimab which is given through a drip in your arm (infusion) or Molnupiravir, taken as capsules.

You can read more about the national programme, including further information for eligible patients www.nhs.uk/CoronavirusTreatments.

Further information is available in a variety of formats on the NHS England website

Information in different languages

If you need this information in an alternative format not already provided, please contact sxccg.comms@nhs.net