Department of Health Guidelines re Vulnerable People and the Critical Frailty Scale

Kiera Roche from LimbPower has been communicating with the Department of Health around some queries from beneficiaries. She has kindly shared the responses here as we feel it’s important that all related charities offer consistent information.

Good morning,

We know some of you have been worried about whether you are considered vulnerable and what The Critical Frailty Scale means for disabled children and adults.

We have asked for clarification from the Department of Health specifically around amputees and people with limb difference and below is the response. If anyone had any further questions we will be putting a Q and A together which the Department of Health will collate and respond to. Please email any questions to with the Words Q and A in the title.


Q: Are amputees and people with limb difference considered vulnerable

A: In addition to the advice I forwarded earlier on the definition of extremely vulnerable (please see below) there is a set of conditions that are considered to be of higher risk. See:

This includes people with diabetes. The advice is follow social distancing stringently.


Q: How does the Critical Frailty Scale affect disabled people and children?

A: The guidance on the clinical frailty scale is here:

This now includes a clarification: The CFS HAS NOT BEEN WIDELY VALIDATED IN YOUNGER POPULATIONS (below 65 years of age), or in those with learning disability. It may not perform as well in people with stable long term disability such as cerebral palsy, whose outcomes might be very different compared to older people with progressive disability. WE WOULD ADVISE THAT THE SCALE IS NOT USED IN THESE GROUPS. However, the guidance on holistic assessment to determine the likely risks and benefits of critical care support, and seeking critical care advice where there is uncertainty, is still relevant.

Definition of extremely vulnerable


#StaySafe and get in touch if you think we can help with anything.