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Major delays for new NHS England covid service

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A key expansion of services for patients recovering from coronavirus has been delayed by several months, HSJ has learned.

In July, NHS England hailed a “ground breaking” new service with the launch of a website with information for patients on how to recover from covid following hospital discharge. It promised a second phase of the service would allow patients to be connected with health professionals for more tailored support, to be launched “later this summer”.

But in a memo sent to professional bodies on 30 October, NHSE said the national roll-out was delayed until at least January 2021, with no date confirmed for the launch beyond that.

Documents on the website itself said a “first cohort of patients from Leicester will begin to work through the programme” in November, with a further rollout scheduled for early December, followed by a “refresh” in January 2021 and a “full national rollout accessible across the country” at an unspecified date beyond that.

The second phase is seen as vital for ensuring that people with covid receive personalised support to help them recover from its debilitating effects, especially as a separate face-to-face rehabilitation programme was scrapped due to costs.

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Source: HSJ, 16 November 2020

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