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Found 371 results
  1. News Article
    Thousands of NHS staff across the UK are facing pay cuts because of a change in Covid sickness policy. Analysis by BBC Panorama suggests that between 5,000 and 10,000 NHS workers could be off sick with Long Covid. Unions are accusing the government of failing to support health staff who worked during the coronavirus pandemic. The government says the Covid-19 public inquiry will examine these issues when it begins taking evidence in May. Changes to special sick pay rules introduced during the pandemic mean that some NHS staff unable to work due to Long Covid may soon no longer receive full pay. Enhanced provision ended last year. Many had a six-month transition, so expect their wages to go down soon. Some face losing their jobs. Professor David Strain is the chair of the Board of Science at the British Medical Association (BMA) and says this makes him "genuinely angry". He explains: "We've got a group of people that have put themselves forward to look after the population, they've been left with an illness and they're not being supported. "They're just in a no man's land." He believes that health workers with long Covid should be allowed to focus on their recovery without money worries. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 January 2023
  2. Content Article
    The paper looks at diagnostic tools and treatments impact of vaccines, variants and reinfections challenges recommendations (relating to research, training and education, public communications campaigns and policies and funding). Authors conclude: Long COVID is a multisystemic illness encompassing ME/CFS, dysautonomia, impacts on multiple organ systems, and vascular and clotting abnormalities. It has already debilitated millions of individuals worldwide, and that number is continuing to grow. On the basis of more than 2 years of research on Long COVID and decades of research on conditions such as ME/CFS, a significant proportion of individuals with Long COVID may have lifelong disabilities if no action is taken. Diagnostic and treatment options are currently insufficient, and many clinical trials are urgently needed to rigorously test treatments that address hypothesized underlying biological mechanisms, including viral persistence, neuroinflammation, excessive blood clotting and autoimmunity. Read the paper in full via the link below.
  3. News Article
    NHS England has shelved priorities on Long Covid and diversity and inclusion – as well as a wide range of other areas – in its latest slimmed down operational planning guidance, HSJ analysis shows. NHSE published its planning guidance for 2023-24, which sets the national “must do” asks of trust and integrated care systems, shortly before Christmas. HSJ has analysed objectives, targets and asks from the 2022-23 planning guidance which do not appear in the 2023-24 document. The measures on which trusts and systems will no longer be held accountable for include improving the service’s black, Asian and minority ethnic disparity ratio by “delivering the six high-impact actions to overhaul recruitment and promotion practices”. Another omission from the 2023-24 guidance compared to 2022-23 is a target to increase the number of patients referred to post-Covid services, who are then seen within six weeks of their referral. Several requirements on staff have been removed, including to ”continue to support the health and wellbeing of our staff, including through effective health and wellbeing conversations” and ”continued funding of mental health hubs to enable staff access to enhanced occupational health and wellbeing and psychological support”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 January 2022
  4. News Article
    NHS trusts in England lost more than a million working days to long-Covid absences last year, analysis suggests. Thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been forced to take long periods off work because of the lingering effects of coronavirus infection. Data released to the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus suggests that long-Covid absences are now higher than they were a year ago. Layla Moran, who chairs the group, said: “Long Covid has upended the lives of millions and these figures suggest that the deeply damaging impact it is having on our economy and public services is only getting worse.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 19 December 2022
  5. News Article
    Covid is causing liver damage lasting months after infection, according to new research. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, discovered Covid-positive patients had a “statistically significant” higher liver stiffness than the rest of the population. Liver stiffness could indicate long-term liver injury such as inflammation or fibrosis, the buildup of scar tissue in the liver. Dr Firouzeh Heidari a Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, said their findings show damage caused by Covid persists for a long time. She said, “Our study is part of emerging evidence that Covid-19 infection may lead to liver injury that lasts well after the acute illness. We don’t yet know if elevated liver stiffness observed after Covid-19 infection will lead to adverse patient outcomes.” Read more Source: The Independent, 4 December 2022
  6. Event
    until
    This Westminster conference will assess priorities and next steps for addressing the impact of Long Covid in Ireland. Areas for discussion include developing and implementing research into Long Covid, the state of specialised services in Ireland, and the implementation and development of the Model of Care, which recommended the development of eight post-acute and six Long Covid clinics. It will be a timely opportunity to discuss Ireland’s strategy for tackling long COVID following analysis from Denis Naughten TD - who is part-chairing this conference - which suggests that almost 340,000 people in Ireland could have been affected by long COVID. It also follows a motion forwarded by a regional group of TDs calling for swifter action to support those with long COVID, which secured unanimous Dáil Éireann support. With the HSE now implementing the Model of Care for long COVID, and developing an epidemiological survey to gauge long COVID numbers in Ireland, delegates will assess the development of the model, workforce and recruitment priorities, and next steps for research and data. It will include keynote sessions from Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain, Consultant Psychiatrist & National Clinical Director, Integrated Care, HSE; and Professor John Lambert, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Genitourinary Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Associate Professor, UCD School of Medicine. Overall, sessions in the agenda will look at: the interim model of care: priorities for development and for creating a centralised care hub to provide support. long COVID clinics: next steps for implementation - providing effective staffing and funding - tackling long COVID backlogs and waiting lists - relieving pressures on GP waiting lists. patients: assessing and providing the support needed by those with long COVID and identifying those most at risk - options for workplace support and assisting those out of work to return quickly. research: building on data from current long COVID and post-acute COVID clinics to inform future strategies - implementing effective surveillance to understand, scale and respond to the issues. policy coordination: integrating responses with Sláintecare reforms and waiting list strategies. Register
  7. News Article
    For the first time, more than 2.5 million people in the UK are out of work because of a long-term health problem. The number has jumped by half a million since the start of the pandemic - but, BBC News analysis reveals, the impact is spread unevenly across the country, with some regions and types of job far more affected. For Mary Starling, there are good days and bad days. The 61-year-old is on strong painkillers, for arthritis. She needs a knee replacement - but that could mean another 18 months on an NHS waiting list. Mary is keen to return to that work - but needs her operation first. "I feel despair - but I'm resigned to it," she says. "I understand it isn't possible to magic up something, though it's wearing not being able to plan my life." The UK is in its fourth year of sharply rising chronic illness. The highest rates are among 50- to 64-year-olds, but there have also been significant increases in some younger groups. Although the link is not conclusive, the Bank of England has said record NHS waiting lists are likely to be playing a "significant role". Some of the largest increases are in people reporting mobility difficulties, such as leg and back problems, or heart and blood-pressure problems. More younger people, in particular, say they are not in work because of different forms of mental illness. But the largest increase in long-term sickness is in the catch-all "other health problems" category, likely to include some of those with "long Covid" symptoms. Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 November 2022
  8. News Article
    More than two million people in the UK say they have symptoms of Long Covid, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey. Many long Covid patients now report Omicron was their first infection. But almost three years into the pandemic there is still a struggle to be seen by specialist clinics, which are hampered by a lack of resources and research. So has the condition changed at all, and have treatments started to progress? NICE defines Llong Covid, or post-Covid syndrome, as symptoms during or after infection that continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. An estimated 1.2m of those who answered the ONS survey reported at least one such symptom continuing for more than 12 weeks - health issues that they didn't think could be explained by anything else. It's easy to assume that new cases of long Covid have significantly decreased, given recent research suggesting the risk of developing long Covid from the Omicron variant is lower. However, the sheer scale of cases over the past year has resulted in more than a third of people with long Covid acquiring it during the Omicron wave, according to the ONS. Patients are usually referred to post-Covid assessment clinics after experiencing symptoms for 12 weeks - however, waiting times have not improved much within the past year. The latest NHS England figures show 33% of Londoners given an initial assessment had to wait 15 weeks or more from the time of their referral, compared to 39% from a similar period in 2021. The British Medical Association (BMA) has called on the government to increase funding for Long Covid clinics to deal with ever-increasing patient numbers. The BMA says that NHS England's 2022 strategy set out in July failed to announce any new funding. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 November 2022
  9. Content Article
    The NHS has opened 81 long COVID assessment clinics across England and invested more than £50m in research to help improve understanding of the condition, from diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation and recovery. In Scotland and Wales, Long Covid is primarily being managed in primary care through GPs. However, access to help has been patchy. Geraint Jones, advanced pharmacist specialising in HIV and homecare at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board in Wales, is frustrated by the lack of a clear pathway for managing Long Covid and has struggled to access services in Wales. In Yorkshire, Rani Khatib — a consultant cardiology pharmacist at Leeds General Infirmary — is waiting for a clinic dedicated to long COVID to be set up in his local area. In the meantime, he has received physiotherapy support through the local pulmonary rehabilitation team, as well as a 12-week Covid-19 rehabilitation programme provided through the charity arm of Nuffield Health. Karen Cook, a clinical services manager for a private hospital chain, has found support from others with Long Covid through Facebook groups, some of which have swelled to tens of thousands of members. She says other professional groups, such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists, have developed effective Long Covid support networks. She would like to see something similar for pharmacists. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is developing support alerts, blogs and professional guidance relating to Long COVID, and has a support line available for one-to-one discussion and support.
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