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Found 357 results
  1. News Article
    One in five COVId-19 patients were diagnosed with a mental illness for the first time within three months of their infection, a study has shown. Mental health experts said the findings, which were based on an analysis of the electronic medical records of 69 million people in the US, suggest that coronavirus survivors could have an increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders. Of the almost 70 million people whose records were examined in the study, 62,354 individuals had confirmed COVID-19 cases. Researchers at the University of Oxford and the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre found that one in five of these patients went on to receive a first time diagnosis of anxiety, depression or insomnia within 90 days of testing positive for the virus. This was roughly twice as high as the figure for other individuals over the same time frame, according to the researchers. People with a history of mental health disorders who contracted the virus were also discovered to be more likely to have new psychiatric diagnoses. Paul Harrison, a psychiatry professor at the University of Oxford who led the research, said: "People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings in a large and detailed study show this to be likely. Read full story Source: The Independent, 10 November 2020
  2. News Article
    Trusts in more than half English local authorities still do not have an agreed safe place to discharge recovering covid patients to, despite the government asking councils to identify at least one such ‘designated setting’ by the end of October. The situation is leading to an increase in delayed discharges from hospital just as the service comes under increased pressure from the second covid wave and returning elective and emergency demand. In a letter last month, the government told local authorities to identify at least one “designated setting” – typically a care home – which hospitals could discharge covid positive patients to when they no longer need secondary care. The designated setting would also take discharged patients who had not received a negative covid test. The plan is designed to protect residents in other homes, after thousands of care home residents died due to outbreaks of the virus in the spring. But a well-placed source in the care sector told HSJ less than half of the 151 upper tier councils met the 31 October deadline, due to a range of reasons including insurance costs, fear of high mortality rates and reputational damage to the designated homes. It means that in many parts of the country, there are a lack of options when it comes to discharging patients, which is causing a rise in delayed discharges. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 November 2020
  3. News Article
    It has a plethora of symptoms, strikes the young and old, and lasts for months – maybe much longer. It’s also so new that scientists aren’t sure what they’re dealing with. For those whose lives have been deeply affected by long-term repercussions of Covid, the battle to be recognised is just the start. There are thousands of people in the UK dealing with the long-term effects of COVID-19, experiencing debilitating symptoms that last for weeks and months beyond the initial infection. One of the most commonly reported is fatigue, along with breathlessness, joint pain and muscle aches. Neurological issues are common, particularly brain ‘fog’ and a loss of memory and concentration. Some have chest pain or heart palpitations, skin rashes, diarrhoea, headaches, hearing or eyesight problems, or hair loss. Others have lost their senses of taste and smell. In online support groups, people are sharing stories of bone-crippling exhaustion, constant pain in their chest or heart, or the inability to remember a name or follow a conversation. These people don’t fit the binary model of the virus we thought we knew – that if you’re in the small minority who are seriously affected you might be hospitalised, end up in ICU or worse; otherwise you’ll likely be better after two weeks. Many only had mild cases originally and were not deemed to be in vulnerable categories. Widely varying symptoms have added to the confusion and fear surrounding the condition, which currently has no formal definition. For months, people with Long Covid had no one to turn to but each other. It’s only recently – through increasing research emerging, and sufferers publicly sharing their stories – that it has started to be taken more seriously. Earlier this month, NHS England announced a £10 million investment to set up one-stop services for physical and mental health issues caused by Covid alongside a Long Covid task force and, crucially, research on 10,000 patients. Not much is known about what causes Long Covid and there is little firm consensus. There are theories it occurs when a patient’s immune system overreacts to the infection, which can lead to widespread inflammation that theoretically affects any organ. Last week, a study by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) suggested Long Covid symptoms could actually be caused by four separate syndromes: post-intensive-care syndrome, post-viral fatigue syndrome, permanent organ damage to the lungs and heart, or lingering COVID-19 symptoms. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 24 October 2020
  4. News Article
    Women aged 50-60 are at greatest risk of developing “long Covid”, analysis suggests. Older age and experiencing five or more symptoms within the first week of illness were also associated with a heightened risk of lasting health problems. The study, led by Dr Claire Steves and Prof Tim Spector at King’s College London, analysed data from 4,182 COVID Symptom Study app users who had been consistently logging their health and had tested positive for the virus. In general, women were twice as likely to suffer from Covid symptoms that lasted longer than a month, compared with men – but only until around the age of 60, when their risk level became more similar. Covid vaccine tracker: when will a cor Increasing age was also associated with a heightened risk of long Covid, with about 22% of people aged over 70 suffering for four weeks or more, compared with 10% of people aged between 18 and 49. For women in the 50-60 age bracket, these two risk factors appeared to combine: They were eight times more likely to experience lasting symptoms of Covid-19 compared with 18- to 30-year-olds. However, the greatest difference between men and women was seen among those aged between 40 and 50, where women’s risk of developing long Covid was double that of men’s. “This is a similar pattern to what you see in autoimmune diseases,” said Spector. “Things like rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and lupus are two to three times more common in women until just before menopause, and then it becomes more similar.” His guess is that gender differences in the way the immune system responds to coronavirus may account for this difference." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 September 2020
  5. News Article
    The Health Secretary is urging the public – and especially young people – to follow the rules and protect themselves and others from COVID-19, as new data and a new film released today reveal the potentially devastating long-term impact of the virus. The symptoms of ‘long COVID’, including fatigue, protracted loss of taste or smell, respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms and mental health problems, are described in a new film being released today as part of the wider national Hands, Face, Space campaign. The film calls on the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control the spread of the virus. The emotive film features the stories of Jade, 22, Jade, 32, Tom, 32 and John, 48, who explain how their lives have been affected – weeks and months after being diagnosed with COVID-19. They discuss symptoms such as breathlessness when walking up the stairs, intermittent fevers and chest pain. The film aims to raise awareness of the long-term impact of COVID-19 as we learn more about the virus. A new study from King’s College London, using data from the COVID Symptom Study App and ZOE, shows one in 20 people with COVID-19 are likely to have symptoms for 8 weeks or more. The study suggests long COVID affects around 10% of 18 to 49 year olds who become unwell with COVID-19. Read full story Source: Gov.uk, 21 October 2020
  6. News Article
    COVID-19 became a pandemic in March 2020, but the after-effects of it are becoming more apparent as many people are suffering from a wide variety of symptoms months after contracting the disease. Long COVID – as it is being called – has been affecting some of the earliest COVID-19 sufferers since the first few months of 2020, but little is known about it and the huge variety of symptoms is making research very difficult. Sky News looks at what the symptoms of long COVID are, how it has affected people's lives, how many are suffering, what treatments there are and how it could affect the economy. Read full story Source: Sky News, 19 October 2020
  7. News Article
    After contracting COVID-19 in March, Michael Reagan lost all memory of his 12-day vacation in Paris even though the trip was just a few weeks earlier. Several weeks after Erica Taylor recovered from her coronavirus symptoms of nausea and cough, she became confused and forgetful, failing to even recognise her own car, the only Toyota Prius in her apartment complex’s parking lot. Lisa Mizelle, a veteran nurse practitioner at an urgent care clinic who fell ill with the virus in July, finds herself forgetting routine treatments and lab tests, and has to ask colleagues about terminology she used to know automatically. It is becoming known as Covid “brain fog”: troubling cognitive symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion, difficulty focusing, dizziness and grasping for everyday words. Increasingly Covid survivors say brain fog is impairing their ability to work and function normally. “There are thousands of people who have that,” said Dr Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious disease at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who has already seen hundreds of survivors at a post-Covid clinic he leads. The effect on the workforce that is affected is going to be significant, he added. Read full story Source: The Irish Times, 18 October 2020
  8. News Article
    NHS England will spend £10m on new clinics for ‘long covid’ sufferers, it was announced yesterday. Sir Simon Stevens, NHSE chief executive, told the NHS Providers annual conference the clinics would offer support to the “probably hundreds of thousands” of people suffering persisting symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness and ‘brain fog’ months after being infected with COVID-19. It comes amid growing calls for wider services to support people with ‘long covid,’ as hospital follow-up clinics are generally only open to those who were previously admitted with the virus. HSJ was last month only able to identify one genuine “long covid clinic”, despite claims by health secretary Matt Hancock they had “announced them in July”. It appears that comment was a mistake. Speaking about long covid, he said: “The NHS has got to be just as responsive and agile in respect of… new needs, including long covid, as we were in repurposing critical care, and ventilators, and acute capacity in the first phase in March, April and May." “Today we are going to be allocating £10m to establish a network of designated long covid clinics across the country, which, in line with new NICE guidelines on effective treatment pathways, will offer support for the tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of patients who have got long covid.” Sir Simon also told the conference today that NHSE was “enthusiastic” about introducing regular asymptomatic covid testing for NHS staff “if and when” it is recommended by the government chief medical officer, and when Test and Trace has enough capacity. There are growing calls for regular testing of asymptomatic NHS staff, especially in hotspot areas, including from former health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Sir Simon said it was “something the chief medical officer and the test and trace programme are continuing to review”. He said: “We would be enthusiastic about doing that if and when that is the clinical recommendation and if and when the Test and Trace programme has got the testing capacity to do that. The plan was always that it would largely have to be sourced out of the total testing capacity available to the nation, not just the NHS labs.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 7 October 2020 Read Patient Safety Learning's response to this news Please share your thoughts with us on the support that is needed on our patient safety platform, the hub.
  9. News Article
    People suffering 'Long Covid’ symptoms will be offered specialist help at clinics across England, the head of the NHS announced today. Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will all help assess, diagnose and treat thousands of sufferers who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, 'brain fog', anxiety and stress. Speaking at the NHS Providers conference today (Wednesday), NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens will announce that £10 million is be invested this year in additional local funding to help kick start and designate Long Covid clinics in every area across England, to complement existing primary, community and rehabilitation care. Sir Simon said new network will be a core element of a five-part package of measures to boost NHS support for Long Covid patients: New guidance commissioned by NHS England from NICE by the end of October on the medical ‘case definition’ of Long Covid. This will include patients who have had covid who may not have had a hospital admission or a previous positive test. It 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. This will include education materials for GPs and other health professionals to help them refer and signpost patients to the right support. The ‘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. Phase 2 of the digital platform will see people able to access a tailored rehabilitation plan. This service will be available to anyone suffering symptoms that are likely due to COVID-19, regardless of location or whether they have spent time in hospital. Designated Long Covid clinics, as announced today. This will involve each part of the country designating expert one-stop services in line with an agreed national specification. Post-covid services will provide joined up care for physical and mental health, with patients having access to a physical assessment, a cognitive assessment and a psychological assessment. Patients could also then be referred from designated clinics into specialist lung disease services, sleep clinics, cardiac services, rehabilitation services, or signposted into IAPT and other mental health services. NIHR- funded research on Long Covid which is working with 10,000 patients to better understand the condition and refine appropriate treatment. The NHS’s support will be overseen by a new NHS England Long Covid taskforce which will include Long Covid patients, medical specialists and researchers. Read full story Source: NHS England, 7 October 2020 Read Patient Safety Learning's response to this news Please share your thoughts with us on the support that is needed on our patient safety platform, the hub.
  10. News Article
    For most people, COVID-19 is a brief and mild disease but some are left struggling with symptoms including lasting fatigue, persistent pain and breathlessness for months. The condition known as "long Covid" is having a debilitating effect on people's lives, and stories of being left exhausted after even a short walk are now common. There is no medical definition or list of symptoms shared by all patients - two people with long Covid can have very different experiences. However, the most common feature is crippling fatigue. Others symptoms include: breathlessness, a cough that won't go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gut. Mental health problems have been reported including depression, anxiety and struggling to think clearly. Long Covid is not just people taking time to recover from a stay in intensive care. Even people with relatively mild infections can be left with lasting and severe health problems. "We've got no doubt long Covid exists," Prof David Strain, from the University of Exeter, who is already seeing long-Covid patients at his Chronic Fatigue Syndrome clinic, told the BBC. A study of 143 people in Rome's biggest hospital, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, followed hospital patients after they were discharged. It showed 87% had at least one symptom nearly two months later and more than half still had fatigue. The Covid Symptom Tracker App - used by around four million people in the UK - found 12% of people still had symptoms after 30 days. Its latest, unpublished data, suggests as many as one in 50 (2%) of all people infected have long-Covid symptoms after 90 days. The number of people with long-Covid appears to be falling with time. However, the virus emerged only at the end of 2019 before going global earlier this year so there is a lack of long-term data. "We've asked, deliberately, to follow people for 25 years, I certainly hope only a very small number will have problems going beyond a year, but I could be wrong," said Prof Brightling. However, there are concerns that even if people appear to recover now, they could face lifelong risks. People who have had chronic fatigue syndrome are more likely to have it again and the concern is that future infections may cause more flare-ups. "If long Covid follows the same pattern I'd expect some recovery, but if it takes just another coronavirus infection to react then this could be every winter," said Prof Strain. It is still possible more problems could emerge in the future. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 October 2020
  11. News Article
    Melissa Vanier, a 52-year-old postal worker from Vancouver, had just returned from holiday in Cuba when she fell seriously ill with COVID-19. “For the entire month of March I felt like I had broken glass in my throat,” she says, describing a range of symptoms that included fever, migraines, extreme fatigue, memory loss and brain fog. “I had to sleep on my stomach because otherwise it felt like someone was strangling me.” By the third week of March, Vanier had tested negative for Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19. But although the virus had left her body, this would prove to be just the beginning of her problems. In May, she noticed from her Fitbit that her heart rate appeared to be highly abnormal. When cardiologists conducted a nuclear stress test – a diagnostic tool that measures the blood flow to the heart – it showed she had ischaemic heart disease, meaning that the heart was not getting sufficient blood and oxygen. Similar stories illustrate a wider trend – that the coronavirus can leave patients with lasting heart damage long after the initial symptoms have dissipated. Cardiologists are still trying to find out exactly why some people are left with enduring heart problems despite having had an apparently mild bout of COVID-19. The underlying mechanisms are thought to be slow and subtle changes that are quite different to those that put strain on the heart during the acute illness, especially in patients who have been hospitalised with the disease. Some cardiologists have suggested that treatments such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, aspirin or beta blockers may help patients with lingering cardiovascular effects many weeks or months after the initial infection, but the evidence remains limited. “It is too early to share data on this,” says Mitrani. “But these therapies have proven efficacy in other inflammatory heart muscle diseases. They have anti-inflammatory effects and we believe may help counter some of the lingering pro-inflammatory effects from Covid-19.” But for patients such as Vanier, there remains a long and uncertain road to see whether her heart does fully recover from the impact of the virus. “Psychologically this has been brutal,” she says. “I haven’t been back to work since I went on holiday in February. The heart hasn’t improved, and I now have to wait for more tests to see if they can find out more.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 October 2020
  12. News Article
    A 33-year-old woman says she's been suffering awful coronavirus symptoms for six months and says it's "ruined her life". Stephanie, from London, says her symptoms began in mid-March when she started experiencing loss of taste and smell, body aches, headaches, a fever, shivering, hot and cold sweats, and sickness. But six months later she still has had no sense of taste and smell, she suffers brain fog and chronic fatigue and says just walking across her flat leaves her chest feeling tight. The photographer, who lives alone, says she sleeps for 10-12 hours but is still always tired. "I'm only 33," she said. Stephanie wants to raise awareness of 'long Covid' and says more research needs to be done on how to treat the long-term effects of the disease. She said she's scared she'll 'never be the same again'. Stephanie says she has a hospital appointment on Friday to have tests on her lungs and heart as doctors are concerned she has lung damage. She added: "I think some people don't believe in long Covid, so I want to raise awareness of what people are going through. We need more research of how to treat people with long Covid because there isn't much available, it's so awful." Read full story Source: Mirror, 1 October 2020
  13. News Article
    Long Covid could be a bigger public health crisis than excess deaths as the condition leaves patients in agony, experts have warned. Patients overcoming the coronavirus and suffering with long Covid have reported symptoms such as chronic fatigue - months after they first contracted the virus. It was previously reported that 60,000 Britains struck by “long-Covid” have been ill for three months with some left in wheelchairs. People who were previously fit and healthy who have recovered from the virus have in some cases been left bed ridden and unable to climb the stairs. Now a report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change is recommending that the Government highlight the issue in awareness campaigns. The report, titled 'Long Covid: Reviewing the Science and Assessing the Risk', states that awareness campaigns could encourage the use of face masks and coverings. The authors of the report state: “Long Covid is likely a bigger issue than excess deaths as a result of Covid, but, crucially, the risk must be considered alongside the economic impact and other health impacts linked to Covid restrictions." Read full story Source: The Sun, 5 October 2020
  14. News Article
    A Dublin teenager has told of his harrowing battle with COVID-19 and is urging other young people to take the disease seriously. Jack Edge, 17, from Rathfarnham, had no underlying health conditions when he contracted the virus in April. Five months on and three hospital admissions later, the Leaving Cert student is still suffering from the "destruction" the virus wreaked on his body. Jack first displayed symptoms of COVID-19 on 15 April and five days later was admitted to Tallaght University Hospital. Within hours of being hospitalised, he was fighting for his life. Jack had to be put on a ventilator to help him breathe for 12 days. As his condition stabilised, he was transferred to a high dependency unit. Jack said: "I couldn't sleep for three days. Every time I closed my eyes, there was just dizziness and loads of colours. "I literally stayed in the bed for 72 hours, just staring at the wall. I had a lot of dark times in the hospital, since I do struggle with anxiety too." "But the care I received was absolutely amazing. They came in and talked to me if I needed to talk, as I would often get lonely, as it was mainly just me in an isolation room." However, surviving COVID-19 was just the first step for Jack. On 28 May, he was readmitted to hospital in excruciating pain. Doctors told him he may have suffered nerve damage associated with the virus. "I’m currently taking 18-20 tablets a day. Tablets for the nerve damage, for pain and for my anxiety. " "I basically have to learn to walk again. I do two to two-and-a-half hours of physio every day, depending on how much energy I have. I wake up some days and I get really upset. I still don’t know why this happened to me or how I got it." Jack hopes that by sharing his story he can raise awareness of the dangers and debilitating long-term effects of COVID-19 for young people. Read full story Source: RTE News, 2 October 2020
  15. News Article
    Clarence Troutman survived a two-month hospital stay with COVID-19, and then went home in early June. But he's far from over the disease, still suffering from limited endurance, shortness of breath and hands that can be stiff and swollen. "Before Covid, I was a 59-year-old, relatively healthy man," said the broadband technician from Denver. "If I had to say where I'm at now, I'd say about 50% of where I was, but when I first went home, I was at 20%." He credits much of his progress to the "motivation and education" gleaned from a new programme for post-covid patients at the University of Colorado, one of a small but growing number of clinics aimed at treating and studying those who have had the unpredictable disease caused by this coronavirus. As the US general election nears, much attention is focused on daily infection numbers or the climbing death toll, but another measure matters: Patients who survive but continue to wrestle with a range of physical or mental effects, including lung damage, heart or neurological concerns, anxiety and depression. "We need to think about how we're going to provide care for patients who may be recovering for years after the virus," said Dr Sarah Jolley, a pulmonologist with UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and director of UCHealth's Post-Covid Clinic, where Troutman is seen. That need has jump-started post-covid clinics in the US, which bring together a range of specialists into a one-stop shop. One of the first and largest such clinics is at Mount Sinai in New York City, but programmes have also launched at the University of California-San Francisco, Stanford University Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania. The Cleveland Clinic plans to open one early next year. And it's not just academic medical centres: St. John's Well Child and Family Center, part of a network of community clinics in South Central Los Angeles, said this month it aims to test thousands of its patients who were diagnosed with covid since March for long-term effects. The general idea is to bring together medical professionals across a broad spectrum, including physicians who specialize in lung disorders, heart issues and brain and spinal cord problems. Mental health specialists are also involved, along with social workers and pharmacists. Read full story Source: CNN Health, 28 September 2020
  16. News Article
    Covid survivor Tam McCue is one of the lucky ones. Earlier in the year he was in intensive care in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley where he had been on a ventilator for nearly two weeks. At one point Mr McCue, who could barely speak, didn't think he would live. Fast forward five months and Mr McCue, of Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, is back from the brink. He became desperately ill but, thankfully, it only went as far as his lungs. With coronavirus some patients have have suffered multiple organ failure which also affected their heart, kidneys, brain and gut. Mr McCue describes his recovery as a "rollercoaster". He added: "It's a slow process. You think you can do things then the tiredness and fatigue sets in." He said: "It lies in the back of your mind. As years go on, how are you going to be? Is it going to get you again? It does play on you. It definitely does." As part of his recovery Mr McCue is attending the Ins:pire clinic online. It is normally a face-to-face rehabilitation clinic which involves multiple specialties, including pharmacists, physiotherapists and psychologists. Mr McCue is one of the first Covid survivors to take part in the five-week programme, which started earlier this month. Read full story Source: BBC Scotland News, 29 September 2020
  17. News Article
    The number of people suffering from symptoms of long covid more than a year after their initial Coronavirus infection has jumped to almost 400,000. New data from the Office for National Statistics based on a survey of patients found the numbers of patients with persistent symptoms after 12 months jumped from 70,000 in March to 376,000 in May. Overall, the ONS said an estimated one million people had self-reported signs of long Covid which last for more than four weeks. The effects of long Covid were reported to be affected the day-to-day activities of 650,000 people, with 192,000 of those saying their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been limited a lot. Fatigue was the most common symptom reported, with 547,000 people affected. A total of 405,000 people reported a shortness of breath, while 313,000 had muscle aches. More than a quarter of a million patients, 285,000 people, said they had difficulty concentrating. According to the ONS the prevalence of long Covid was higher among those aged between 35 and 69-year-old and women were more likely to be affected than men along with those living in the most deprived areas as well as staff working in health and social care. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 June 2021
  18. News Article
    People who remain chronically ill after Covid infections in England have had to wait months for appointments and treatment at specialist clinics set up to handle the surge in patients with long Covid. MPs called on Matt Hancock, the health secretary, to explain the lengthy waiting times and what they described as a “shameful postcode lottery” which left some patients facing delays of more than four months before being assessed at a specialist centre while others were seen within days. NHS England announced in December that people with long Covid, or post-Covid syndrome, could seek help at more than 60 specialist clinics. But despite government assertions in January that the network of 69 centres was already operating, the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus found that some clinics were still not up and running three months later. Freedom of information requests submitted to NHS trusts revealed that while some clinics had opened and were seeing patients, others had been delayed by the second wave of infections in January. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 May 2021
  19. News Article
    On Christmas Day, Gail Jackson’s 16-year-old daughter said she was in so much pain she thought she would die. Liliana had been briefly admitted to hospital with Covid in September. Her symptoms never went away and, as time went on, new ones had emerged. “For months she had a relentless, agonising headache, nausea, tinnitus, fatigue and insomnia, but the worst thing was the agonising nerve pain,” said Jackson. “I couldn’t even touch her without her screaming in pain.” On Christmas morning, Jackson drove to hospital with her daughter vomiting from pain in the passenger seat. When they got to the hospital, however, the A&E doctor said there was no such thing as long Covid in children. “He said she just needed to go home and get on with her life,” Jackson said. “It was jaw-dropping.” It is extremely rare for children and young people to contract severe Covid, but recent research has shown that even mild or asymptomatic infection can lead to long Covid in children. A study at UCL is investigating long Covid in 11- to 17-year-olds who were not hospitalised with the disease. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended more research to produce guidance on how children and young people are affected and how they can be treated. However, there is no case definition of long Covid in children and young people in the way there is in adults. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 May 2021
  20. News Article
    More than 80 new clinics to assess patients suffering with symptoms of Long Covid are to be opened by the NHS by the end of this month with an extra investment of £24m. NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said the health service must “continue to expand its offer for Long Covid” adding there will be even more funding earmarked for the problem in the future. Speaking at the Health Service Journal’s leadership congress on Wednesday, Sir Simon said: “We have 69 clinics identified last year and we will have 83 long Covid clinics in place by the end of this month, so a significant expansion there. “We will be backing that with at least £24 million revenue funding going into this New Year, up from the £10 million announced last year, and there will be more to come on the back of that as well.” Recent estimates by the Office for National Statistics found more than a million people could be experiencing long Covid beyond four weeks with 674,000 people saying it was affecting their day to day lives. Almost 200,000 people have said their ability to carry out normal activities has been severely limited by the condition. Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 April 2021
  21. News Article
    Health coach Jasmine Hayer had to give up her life in London and move back in with her parents after catching Covid. Now she is focused on a twin goal - battling back to health while helping others get the right treatment for Long Covid. Dr William Man, the head of the Royal Brompton Hospital's chest clinic, started treating her in December, as part of a clinic seeing 100 severe long Covid cases in the UK. Jasmine describes it as a "complete game changer". However, she worries that other so-called "long haulers" are not getting the help they need because they face "such a battle" to be taken seriously. She decided to start a blog to document her symptoms and wants to share her story as widely as possible in the hope of helping others. "I've had messages from around the world and I was so happy to hear that one girl has shown her doctor my blog and he is giving her more tests as a result," she says. "I know how lonely and scary it is when you are fighting to be believed. You are literally on your own." Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 April 2021
  22. News Article
    More than one million people in the UK are suffering from signs of Long Covid, the Office for National Statistics has said. This is a significant increase in previous estimates of persistent and debilitating symptoms and follows the January surge in coronavirus infections across the UK. The ONS said a total of 1.1 million people in the UK reported experiencing Long Covid symptoms lasting beyond four weeks after infection with COVID-19 that were not explained any something else. Long Covid can include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, so called ‘brain fog’ as well as serious organ damage to the kidneys, heart and lungs. The ONS found the symptoms were impacting on the day to day lives of 674,000 people, with almost 200,000 people reporting their ability to carry out normal activities had been severely limited. Of those reporting symptoms, almost 700,000 reported having a Covid infection in the previous three months, but 70,000 said it was over a year since their infection. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 April 2021
  23. News Article
    The NHS should start off the next financial year focusing on staff recovery and postpone ratcheting up elective recovery efforts and other long-term priorities until the second quarter, senior figures have warned. One trust chief executive said if there is an expectation from the centre that “April is the start point [for elective recovery], that will cause a massive problem”. It comes with the government and NHS England still apparently locked in negotiation over NHS funding for the financial year from 1 April, and deciding what the NHS will be asked to deliver. The CEO said: “It’s hard to think that 1 April signals a new year for the NHS. [There needs to be] a gradual decompression of our staff over the next three months as the country opens up. “If the planning guidance gets announced in the next couple of weeks with an expectation that April is the start point, that will cause a massive problem. Staff have not recovered, the vaccine programme is still ongoing, [and] there are still covid patients in all of our beds.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 March 2021
  24. News Article
    Lasting effects of infection from coronavirus are more common in women and children than expected, with at least 10% of people infected suffering persistent symptoms for months, a new review has found. Experts at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) examined more than 300 separate scientific studies for the analysis. It found many patients reported struggling to access testing and help from the NHS to treat their symptoms, which varied between patients, suggesting long Covid is a group of four possible syndromes affecting patients differently. The report said: “Long Covid appears to be more frequent in women and in young people (including children) than might have been expected,” adding other sufferers could be experiencing an active disease, impacting on their organs and causing debilitating symptoms that would need ongoing treatment. In some patients, the effects included neurological changes in their brains while others showed signs of blood clotting and inflammation. Other patients reported anxiety, fatigue and damage to their lungs and heart. It also warned there was evidence some long Covid patients could actually be getting worse, underlining the need to invest in services that will be needed to cope with what could be a long term problem. Read full story Source: The Independent, 16 March 2021
  25. News Article
    Joanna Herman, a consultant in infectious diseases, had high hopes when Boris Johnson announced £10m for long Covid clinics. Five months on, she is yet to be referred to one. "Despite the government recently giving £18.5m research funding for the disease, it feels as though all focus is now on the vaccine and the lifting of lockdown, while those living with long Covid have been largely forgotten," says Joanna. Her initial illness was, by definition, a mild case of Covid: no hospital admission and no risk factors for severe disease. Months later she found herself experiencing crashing post-exertional fatigue, sporadic chest pains and a brain that felt it was only half functioning. And she is not alone. According to a study published last September from researchers at King’s College London, 60,000 people in the UK were likely to have been suffering from long Covid. The actual number is now probably far higher. There are now 69 long Covid clinics up and running across the country, according to the NHS England website. Yet Joanna has not been able to access one – and neither have others she knows with long Covid. Joanna asked doctors in her field what was happening with long Covid clinics in their local areas. She contacted 18 infectious disease colleagues based in teaching hospitals around the country. Of the 16 who responded, 6 had formal long Covid clinics. Some said that provision for the disease was woefully inadequate, while others reported they only saw only patients who had been admitted to hospital with acute COVID-19. In her own local teaching hospital, funding for long Covid patients is scattered across various departments and there is no dedicated team for these patients. "...it feels as though many long-haulers remain in a post-viral sea, looking for a mooring in the hope that something can be offered. We’ve known about this disease since last summer, and it has been officially recognised since October, but we’re only just starting to understand how to support those living with it" Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 March 2021