NHS support pledged for “long Covid” patients

  • Date: 13 October 2020

PATIENTS suffering from "long-Covid" symptoms have been pledged specialist treatment at NHS clinics across England.

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has announced that £10 million will be invested this year in additional local funding to help set up long-Covid clinics across England to complement existing primary, community and rehabilitation care.

NHS staff including respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will help assess, diagnose and treat recovering Covid-19 patients reporting symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, "brain fog", anxiety and stress.

Clinicians have found that a small but significant minority of people who contract Covid-19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. Some estimates suggest that 10 per cent patients may still be experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection, with perhaps 60,000 people suffering from long-Covid symptoms after more than three months.

A package of measures to boost NHS support for long-Covid patients has been announced, including new guidance commissioned by NHS England from NICE by the end of October on the medical case definition of long Covid. This will be followed by evidence-based NICE clinical guidelines in November on the support that long-Covid patients should receive, enabling NHS doctors, therapists and staff to provide a clear and personalised treatment plan.

There will also be further development of Your Covid Recovery – an online rehab service to provide personalised support to patients. Over 100,000 people have used the online hub since it launched in July, which gives people general information and advice on living with long COVID.

Further support will be provided to National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded research on long Covid, which is working with 10,000 patients to better understand the condition and refine appropriate treatment.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "While this is still a relatively new virus, we are learning more about Covid with every passing week. It is now clear that long Covid can have a major impact on the lives of a significant minority of patients weeks or months after they have contracted the virus. So just as the NHS quickly put in place specialist hospital care for acutely ill Covid patients at the start of the pandemic, now we must respond sensitively and effectively to these new patient needs."

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

Save this article

Save this article to a list of favourite articles which members can access in their account.

Save to library

Related Content

Consent checklist

Coroner's inquests

Equality, diversity and inclusion workshop

We are currently carrying out some essential website improvements

We are carrying out some essential website improvements today (Saturday 18th May), scheduled to be completed at 7pm.

During this time you will be unable to get a quote, apply for membership or access the existing membership area to make any changes, report a claim or access any information about your membership.

Our 24 hour claims advice line is available as normal, so please call us on 0333 043 0444.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.

For registration, or any login issues, please visit our login page.