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MPs demand ‘urgent’ meeting with government over private clinics exploiting patients

A cross-party group of MPs and peers have written to the health secretary requesting an “urgent” meeting to discuss “unregulated” and “untested” treatments that are being offered to Long Covid patients in the UK.

It comes after The Independent uncovered a wide range of unproven and “dangerous” therapies being touted to patients, few of which have been approved for use in the NHS – or rigorously tested – for alleviating persistent coronavirus symptoms.

Patients with Long Covid are also travelling abroad to clinics in Europe to receive treatments such as “blood washing”, often at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds, according to an ITV and BMJ investigation.

In a letter to health secretary Steve Barclay, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus expressed concern that patients “desperately” awaiting treatment through the NHS are being exploited by private clinics, and urged the government to launch an investigation into the provision of unproven care.

The group wrote: “It has come to the attention of the APPG that a number of unregulated long Covid clinics are operating in the UK, offering untested and unscientific treatments to people living with long Covid.

“The evidence our parliamentary group has heard makes it clear that in some parts of the country the current NHS long Covid care pathways are unfit for purpose, with access to NHS long Covid clinics being described as a ‘postcode lottery’.”

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Source: The Independent, 14 July 2022


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