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Found 28 results
  1. News Article
    There are serious concerns over the funding and staffing numbers available for new ‘long-covid’ clinics, while patient groups ‘remain in the dark’ over their locations. Last month, NHS England announced there would be 40 clinics around the country, to start opening at the end of November, with £10m of funding to cover set-up and operational costs until March 2021. But several speakers at HSJ’s inaugural virtual respiratory forum last week said there were still uncertainties and concerns about the capacity to provide the clinics. Dr Jon Bennet, a respiratory consultant and chair of the British Thoracic Society, said staffing the respiratory rehabilitation services within the clinics would be challenging, as “there isn’t at the moment sufficient capacity”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 29 November 2020
  2. Event
    Currently very little is known about the clinical, biological, psychological and socio-environmental impact of COVID-19. While most people may have uncomplicated recoveries, some experience prolonged or new symptoms and complications. The wide range of Long Covid symptoms documented indicates that multiple body systems are involved. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include fatigue, breathing difficulties, joint pain, chest pain, as well as muscle weakness and neurological symptoms. These are common among both people who were hospitalised in the early phase of COVID-19 and those who were not. Systematic reviews show that people worldwide are experiencing prolonged symptoms of COVID-19. There are implications at an individual level for people’s quality of life and their ability to work, as well as at a socioeconomic level due to the risk of widening health inequalities. As well as breadth of the physical, psychological and social complications, there is a need to understand the causes (aetiology) of the symptoms and complications experienced. It is also vital to be able to identify people at higher risk of Long Covid, as well as interventions that might reduce that risk, and support rehabilitation and recovery. There is an urgent need for robust scientific studies into the long-term impact of COVID-19 in both adults and children, and for healthcare providers to be informed to support prevention, assessment, rehabilitation and interventions to improve recovery and patient outcomes. With this need in mind, ISARIC and GloPID-R are organising the Long Covid Forum on December 9 and 10, 2020 in collaboration with the Long Covid Support. The objectives of the forum will be: to gain a better understanding of Long Covid; the science and the personal impact to define research gaps for funders and researchers to take forward. Register
  3. Event
    The Chronic Long Covid19 support group presents this international conference for patients. Presenters: Dr David Tuller, Global Public Health Expert, University of Berkeley, California: graded exercise therapy/cognitive behavior therapy treatment approach to ME and why it should not be used for long-covid patients. Nikita Alexandrov biochemist/biohacker, University of Alabama, USA: COVID-19 and the elephants in the room – big misconceptions and important out of the box observations made so far. Secondary infections: why there is no real cytokine storm concern and the issue of mast cell activation. Book your place
  4. News Article
    Up to £20 million is available for new research projects which aim to understand and address the longer-term physical and mental health effects of COVID-19 in non-hospitalised individuals. Increasing medical evidence and patient testimony has shown that some people who contract and survive COVID-19 may develop longer-lasting symptoms. Symptoms can range from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, ‘brain fog’, anxiety and stress and can last for months after initially falling ill. These ongoing problems, commonly termed ‘Long-COVID’, may be experienced by patients regardless of how severe their COVID-19 infection was and irrespective of whether they were hospitalised. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are launching a call to fund two or three ambitious and comprehensive proposals and a small number of study extensions that will address ‘Long-COVID’ in the community. This work will complement other major studies already funded by UKRI and NIHR which focus on long covid in hospitalised patients. Projects are expected to start early in the new year and may be funded for up to three years in the first instance. The call will open on 12 November and close on 9 December 2020. Further information
  5. Community Post
    Just over a week ago NHS England and NHS Improvement announced the launch of a network of 40 Long COVID clinics over the coming weeks. While there still needs to be more details providing, particularly a clear timeframe for the roll-out of these and information on their locations, I was wondering if anyone has heard about whether there are similar plans for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales? From a little online research at the moment I've only found the following: Northern Ireland No formal announcements from the Department of Health along these lines. The charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke have set up their own Covid Recovery Service. Scotland No immediately obvious proposals from this recent BBC News article covering the issue. Wales Quotes from a BBC News article from the Welsh Government that 'it expected health boards to develop and improve access to rehabilitation services'. This also mentions that the 'Cardiff and Vale Health Board is the first in Wales planning to open a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation service.' Have you heard or seen anything to suggest plans are in place in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales to move forward with a similar plan to the NHS in England? Or perhaps an alternative approach?
  6. News Article
    Young, low risk patients with ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 had signs of damage to multiple organs four months after initially being infected, a preprint study has suggested. Initial data from 201 patients suggest that almost 70% had impairments in one or more organs four months after their initial symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results emerged as the NHS announced plans to establish a network of more than 40 long covid specialist clinics across England this month to help patients with long term symptoms of infection. The prospective Coverscan study examined the impact of long covid (persistent symptoms three months post infection) across multiple organs in low risk people who are relatively young and had no major underlying health problems. The research has not yet been peer reviewed and could not establish a causal link between organ impairment and infection. But the authors said the results had “implications not only for [the] burden of long covid but also public health approaches which have assumed low risk in young people with no comorbidities.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 17 November 2020
  7. News Article
    As more people suffer lasting symptoms from Covid including fatigue, ME patient advocates fear they will get bad advice, Based on current estimates, about 10% of COVID-19 patients develop lasting symptoms, one of the most common being fatigue. The underlying mechanism is still unclear, but possible explanations include reduced oxygen supply to tissues caused by heart or lung damage, or muscle weakness from prolonged bed rest. However, some doctors are increasingly concerned about the overlap between long Covid and another largely virus-triggered illness: “It’s extraordinary how many people have a postviral syndrome that’s very strikingly similar to myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS),” said the US’s top public health official, Dr Anthony Fauci, in July. “They just don’t get back to normal energy or normal feeling of good health.” Like people with ME/CFS, many long-Covid patients report headaches, brain fog, sleep problems, a racing heart, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Some also experience a relapse of fever, muscle pain and exhaustion, known as “post-exertional malaise”, if they exercise beyond their capabilities. “There are so many similarities between long Covid and ME/CFS it leads me to believe the underlying pathology is probably the same – except that long Covid is presenting as an epidemic, whereas ME/CFS has presented in a very sporadic way, and by no means in such large numbers in such a short space of time,” said Dr William Weir, a consultant in infectious diseases with a special interest in ME. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 19 November 2020
  8. Content Article
    Earlier this year we published a blog, setting out patient safety concerns around the care and treatment for Long COVID patients.[1] This followed the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, when it started to become clear that there was a significant number of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who were continuing to struggle with debilitating and sometimes severe symptoms months later. Our blog focused on those individuals that did not have an initial COVID-19 infection severe enough to be admitted to hospital, but instead managed their symptoms and recovery at home Since the summer, there has been a growing degree of focus on the issue of Long COVID, with patient groups working hard to make their voices heard and an increase in research to better understand the causes, treatment options and likely outcome for people living with Long COVID. In the UK there has been a formal recognition from the NHS of the need for increased care and support for Long COVID patients.[2] In this blog, we will outline some of the key patient safety issues concerning Long COVID and recent steps the NHS has taken to increase provision and support for these patients. We will then focus on the importance of engagement and information sharing with patients, outlining suggestions on how we feel this needs to be improved. Patient safety concerns for Long COVID patients The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently published a guideline defining Long COVID (which they refer to as Post-Covid-19 syndrome) as: “Signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. It usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which can fluctuate and change over time and can affect any system in the body. Post-COVID-19 syndrome may be considered before 12 weeks while the possibility of an alternative underlying disease is also being assessed.”[3] Many of those affected by this condition did not have an initial COVID-19 infection severe enough to be admitted to hospital, but instead managed their symptoms and recovery at home. We have highlighted on the hub, our platform for patient safety, the experiences and difficulties faced by patients in this position, such that of Barbara Melville and Dr Jake Suett.[4] [5] Drawing insights from patient experiences shared on the hub and by members of Long COVID support groups formed on social media, we highlighted a number of key patient safety issues that require action.[1] One of the key issues is the need to start listening and learning from patients living with Long COVID, to help inform further research and to understand and address their support needs. People living with Long COVID have told us of friends and family who do not believe the extent or impact of their illness, employers who are pushing them to return to work before they are physically ready and some doctors who don't believe that Long COVID exists. We are also hearing that many are unable to access financial support or benefits, despite being unable to work, which is understandably taking its toll. Although there is now greater recognition of this condition, there remains worrying gaps in both clinical and public awareness; this is hampering efforts to effectively care and treat Long COVID patients. How has the healthcare system responded? From July onwards, the NHS has begun to put in place new support and guidance for patients living with Long COVID. Below is a brief timeline outlining some of the key developments to date: 5 July – The launch of the first phase of a new online rehabilitation service, Your COVID Recovery, is announced.[6] The website went live at the end of the month. Initial information was general to those recovering from COVID-19, not specific to Long COVID patients. 7 October – The NHS announces a new five-part action plan to support Long COVID patients.[7] 30 October – NICE and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) set out the scope for developing formal guidance for managing the long-term effects of COVID-19.[8] 5 November – The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation launch a £20 million fund for research “into understanding, mitigating and addressing the longer term, physical and mental health effects, of COVID-19 in non-hospitalised individuals”.[9] 6 November – NHS publishes new guidance on accessing and referring into a tailored rehabilitation programme, specifically for Long COVID patients, via the Your COVID Recovery platform.[10] Also, referred to as ‘Phase 2’, this initially went live on 31 October, with plans for the service to be rolled out using a phased approach. 6 November – NHS published commissioning guidance to assist local healthcare systems to establish Long COVID assessment clinics.[11] 15 November – NHS announce the launch of a network of more than 40 specialist clinics within the coming weeks to support patients.[12] Future activity (timescales yet to be confirmed) National rollout of Your COVID Recovery Phase 2 training to GPs. Publication of guidance on the referral by GPs of patients living with Long COVID to Your COVID Recovery Phase 2. Publication of guidance on the referral of patients to Long COVID clinics. Publication of guidance on patients receiving assessments by the Long COVID clinics and referral for diagnosis and treatment to secondary care. Publication of guidance on patients receiving assessments by the Long COVID clinics and referral for diagnosis and treatment to community-based rehabilitation and support services. Greater clarity needed around support for Long COVID patients Patient Safety Learning welcomes the progress that has been made since the summer to begin putting in place the support needed for Long COVID patients. In October, we were invited by the NHS to participate in their Long COVID taskforce and have been feeding back our views as an active stakeholder in this group. However, while we understand the difficulties in responding to a complex new health condition, particularly within the pressures of the pandemic, we do feel that significant improvements could be made to how the NHS is engaging and communicating with patients. As we describe in our report A Blueprint for Action, we believe it is vital that patients are effectively engaged in their care; there is clear research evidence that active patient engagement reduces unsafe care.[13] This principle is recognised by the NHS, who have recently developed a new framework for involving patients in patient safety. To ensure Long COVID patients are properly engaged in their care and receive access to the support that they need, we believe further action is needed in several areas. Long COVID clinics There are a range of unanswered questions about the future provision of Long COVID clinics. We had initially raised this issue with the NHS in September as a result of confusion stemming from comments by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, that these clinics were already up and running, despite no information in the public domain to this effect.[14] [15] In its most recent announcement on this issue, the NHS has now stated that there will be more than 40 of these specialist clinics opened across different regions of England in the coming weeks.[12] We believe that it would be beneficial to provide Long COVID patients with greater clarity on this, specifically by: Publishing a list of the clinics by location. Announcing a more specific timeframe for completed roll-out. Currently available information only states that these are “due to start opening at the end of November”.[12] Setting out plans to address regional disparities, should there be any, to avoid a post-code lottery of access. Explain the rationale for the chosen locations of Long COVID clinics. Your COVID Recovery, Phase 2 When Your COVID Recovery was launched in July, the NHS stated that the second phase, in which people would be able to access personalised support packages, would be made available “later in the summer”.[6] Guidance published at the start of November on the service stated that the second phase was live on 31 October and “rolled out using a phrased approach”.[10] Meanwhile, recent reports in the Health Service Journal have indicated that this national roll-out will not take place until “at least January 2021, with no date confirmed for launch beyond that”.[16] There is also a need for GPs to undertake specific training to be able to refer patients into the Phase 2 rehabilitation service. It is unclear how many practices have received this training to date, where they are located or how long it will take for this referral system to be available nationally. The gradual shifting of the deadlines around this key pillar of support for Long COVID patients has not been clearly communicated. Patients waiting to access this NHS support do not have a clear idea of when they may be able to receive treatment. We believe that the NHS should: Provide clarity on the plans and expected timescales for rolling out training to GPs on the Phase 2 service nationally. Provide regular progress updates on the roll-out and availability of this service. Patient-focused information As it may be apparent from the timeline outlined earlier, much of the activity from the NHS to date has understandably been focused on the practicalities in setting up new support and provision for Long COVID patients. While this is undoubtedly important, we feel there is a clear gap in terms of communicating effectively with people living with Long COVID. In looking to improve the availability of patient resources on this issue, Patient Safety Learning has developed a patient information leaflet aimed to help Long COVID patients understand what they can expect from their GP.[17] This drew on earlier guidance issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to healthcare professionals directly.[18] We hope this simple guide will empower and reassure patients, providing them with an evidence-based document that can be shared with those around them. We believe that this will also help raise awareness of the health challenges Long COVID patients are facing so that their health and recovery needs can be better met. We believe this type of guidance should be being provided by the NHS directly to patients. The necessity of a clear plan from the NHS for patient engagement Patient Safety Learning believes that a clear plan from the NHS for engaging and communicating with Long COVID patients regarding the roll-out of support should include: NHS England and NHS Improvement and others working in partnership with people living with Long COVID and the public, to improve patient safety, patient experience and health outcomes; supporting people to live healthier lives. This would include a developed and published plan for patient and public engagement.[19] Information for the healthcare system to inform the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of people living with Long COVID. Information for primary and secondary care, ambulance services and the 111 service, Royal Colleges, commissioners etc. This should consist of personal stories to outline the lived experience of patients and highlight the challenges that need to addressed, including how secondary care should be responding to GP referrals and how these services relate to the community-based ‘virtual ward’ initiatives being established. Information for people living with Long COVID that informs and empowers them: what services are being developed and when; how they will be able to access these services; what we know about Long COVID, its impact and how people might experience it; what research is being undertaken; how patients’ voices and experiences are informing the design of the system response; how people can access support, advice and resources from others such as employers, benefits agencies etc. We believe that there is an urgent wider need for this type of public information, separate to the second phase of Your COVID Recovery, which can only be accessed after a patient is referred by a GP. Information to wider society that will influence people’s attitudes and responses to those with Long COVID; information to employers, the benefits system, advice services (such as Citizen’s Advice, Healthwatch, Patients Association and others), media. Such information may also relate to the scale and impact of Long COVID and give advice around personal decisions on behaviours that could prevent people from being infected and infecting others. Information detailing how access to services and support for Long COVID patients may differ, depending which part of the UK they live in, and signposting to the most appropriate guidance in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as appropriate. It is vital that the NHS provides regular, up-to-date information for people living with Long COVID. This information needs to be clear, transparent and widely accessible, in accordance to the NHS Information Standard.[20] We also believe there is a need to continue to raise awareness of Long COVID among all healthcare staff and the wider public so that patients suffering prolonged symptoms can be better supported in accessing safe, quality care. References 1. Patient Safety Learning, Patient safety concerns for Long COVID patients, Patient Safety Learning’s the hub, 6 July 2020. 2. Patient Safety Learning, NHS announces five-point package to support Long COVID patients, 7 October 2020. 3. NICE, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and Royal College of General Practitioners, COVID-19 guideline scope: management of long—term effects of COVID-19, 30 October 2020. 4. Barbara Melville, Dismissed, unsupported and misdiagnosed: Interview with a COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’, Patient Safety Learning’s the hub, 24 June 2020. 5. Dr Jake Suett, My experience of suspected ‘Long COVID’, Patient Safety Learning’s the hub, 10 July 2020. 6. NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS to launch ground breaking online COVID-19 rehab service, 5 July 2020. 7. NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS To Offer ‘Long Covid’ Sufferers Help at Specialist Centres, 7 October 2020. 8. NICE, Covid-19 guideline: management of the long-term effects of COVID-19, Last Accessed 17 November 2020. 9. NIHR, Research into the longer term effects of COVID-19 in non-hospitalised individuals – Call scope, 5 November 2020. 10. NHS England and NHS Improvement, Your COVID Recovery. Guidance for the online interactive platform, 6 November 2020. 11. NHS England and NHS Improvement, National guidance for post-COVID assessment clinics, 6 November 2020. 12. NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS launches 40 ‘long COVID’ clinics to tackle persistent symptoms, 15 November 2020. 13. Patient Safety Learning, The Patient-Safe Future: A Blueprint for Action, 2019. 14. Health and Social Care Committee, Oral evidence: Social care: funding and workforce, HC 206, 8 September 2020. Matt Hancock MP commented in a select committee that “The NHS set up Long COVID clinics and announced them in July. I am concerned by reports this morning from the Royal College of GPs that not all GPs know how to ensure that people can get into those services. That is something I will take up with the NHS and that I am sure we will be able to resolve”. 15. Patient Safety Learning, Patient Safety Learning calls for the NHS to publish details of post-COVID clinics, 11 September 2020. 16. HSJ, Major delays for new NHS England covid service, 16 November 2020. 17. Patient Safety Learning, Post-COVID-19 syndrome: What support can patients expect from their GP, Patient Safety Learning’s the hub, 19 November 2020. 18. RCGP, Management of the long term effects of COVID-19. The RCGP response and top tips for caring for our patients, V1 30 October 2020. 19. NHS England and NHS Improvement, Patient and Public Participation Policy, April 2017. 20. NHS England and NHS Improvement, The Information Standard, Last Accessed 19 November 2020.
  9. News Article
    PRESS RELEASE (London, UK, 19 November 2020) – The charity Patient Safety Learning and the Royal College of GPs have published new guidance to help patients with post COVID-19 syndrome (also known as Long COVID) understand the support they can expect from their GP. This guidance draws on the RCGP's recent summary and top tips for GPs caring for patients with post COVID-19 syndrome. Both these documents have been produced in advance of more detailed national guidance being developed by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of GPs, due to be published in December 2020. Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning, said: “We have used the RCGP’s guidance to produce a simple patient-friendly guide to help support people living with Long COVID in the interim period before more detailed guidance is produced by NICE. We hope that this guidance will empower and inform patients, providing them with an evidence-based document that can be shared with those around them. We believe that this will also help raise awareness of the health challenges these patients are facing so that their health and recovery needs can be better met.” Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “It’s important that patients experiencing debilitating prolonged effects of Covid-19, which we know affect a small but significant number of people who have had the virus, feel that they have the understanding and support of the GPs and other healthcare professionals delivering their care. To this end we hope this guidance is helpful for them. The RCGP is working hard to ensure that the long term effects of Covid-19 are recognised, especially in those who were never admitted to hospital, and that our GP members have interim guidance whilst waiting for formal national guidance, currently being developed by NICE, SIGN and the College, to be published.” Notes to editors: 1. The new Patient Safety Learning and RCGP guidance can be found here: Post COVID-19 syndrome: What support can patients expect from their GP? 2. Patient Safety Learning is a charity and independent voice for improving patient safety. We harness the knowledge, insights, enthusiasm and commitment of health and social care organisations, professionals and patients for system-wide change and the reduction of avoidable harm. We believe patient safety is not just another priority; it is a core purpose of health and social care. Patient safety should not be negotiable. 3. The RCGP guidance for GPs can be found here: RCGP, Management of the long term effects of COVID-19. The RCGP response and top tips for caring for our patients, V1 30 October 2020.
  10. Content Article
    In the meantime, Patient Safety Learning and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has developed the attached short guide to help patients with post COVID-19 syndrome (also known as Long COVID) understand the support they can expect from their GP. Patient Safety Learning recognise that some people living with Long COVID strongly prefer this term, rather than the NICE definition Post-Covid-19 syndrome. In our individual publications on this issue we use the term Long COVID. In the case of this joint leaflet with the RCGP, the term Post-Covid-19 syndrome is used as this aligns with the source information this draws on, specifically this guidance to GPs. While we recognise that this is not the preferred terminology for some people, we hope that this leaflet will help provide people living with Long COVID with a brief support guide in the interim period before detailed guidance is produced.
  11. Event
    This webinar will be chaired by Dr Joanne Fillingham, Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions (AHPs), NHS England & NHS Improvement and will include presentations from: Sarah Cooper, Senior Programme Manager- Post Covid Syndrome, Clinical Policy Unit, NHS England & NHS Improvement Sarah Duncan, Head of Clinical Policy Unit, Medical Directorate, NHS England & NHS Improvement Gordon Bigham, Interim Regional Chief Allied Health Professional Lead – Midlands, NHS England & NHS Improvement The webinar will cover: NHS five-point plan for managing long COVID NICE Guidance and clinical definitions of long COVID Educational resources and materials from HEE Post COVID assessment clinics This webinar will be hosted on Microsoft Teams as a live event and can be accessed using this link at 2:00pm on Tuesday the 24th of November.
  12. News Article
    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. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 16 November 2020
  13. News Article
    The NHS will launch a network of more than 40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics within weeks to help thousands of patients suffering debilitating effects of the virus months after being infected. The clinics, due to start opening at the end of November, will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms. NHS England has provided £10 million to fund the pioneering clinics, which will see patients who have been hospitalised, officially diagnosed after a test or reasonably believe they had COVID-19. Ten sites have been earmarked for the Midlands, seven in the North East, six in the East of England, South West and South East respectively, five in London and three in the North West. Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professional, allowing doctors an opportunity to rule out any other possible underlying causes for symptoms, such as suspected stroke, lung cancers or respiratory conditions. The NHS has also launched a new taskforce, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians, to help manage the NHS approach to ‘long COVID’ and produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals to develop a wider understanding of the condition. NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Long COVID is already having a very serious impact on many people’s lives and could well go on to affect hundreds of thousands. “That is why, while treating rising numbers of patients who are sick with the virus and many more who do not have it, the NHS is taking action to address those suffering ongoing health issues." “These pioneering ‘long COVID’ clinics will help address the very real problems being faced by patients today while the taskforce will help the NHS develop a greater understanding of the lasting effects of coronavirus.” Read full press release Source: NHS England, 15 November 2020
  14. News Article
    Young and previously healthy people with ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 are showing signs of damage to multiple organs four months after the initial infection, a study suggests. The findings are a step towards unpicking the physical underpinnings and developing treatments for some of the strange and extensive symptoms experienced by people with “long Covid”, which is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK. Fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain are among the most frequently reported effects. On Sunday, the NHS announced it would launch a network of more than 40 long Covid specialist clinics where doctors, nurses and therapists will assess patients’ physical and psychological symptoms. The Coverscan study aims to assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 on organ health in around 500 “low-risk” individuals – those who are relatively young and without any major underlying health complaints – with ongoing Covid symptoms, through a combination of MRI scans, blood tests, physical measurements and online questionnaires. Preliminary data from the first 200 patients to undergo screening suggests that almost 70% have impairments in one or more organs, including the heart, lungs, liver and pancreas, four months after their initial illness. “The good news is that the impairment is mild, but even with a conservative lens, there is some impairment, and in 25% of people it affects two or more organs,” said Amitava Banerjee, a cardiologist and associate professor of clinical data science at University College London. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 November 2020
  15. Content Article
    Lecture content How common is smell loss in COVID-19? Does it get better? How does it position relative to other symptoms of the pandemic? How is it different to typical smell loss seen with other viruses? What about taste? Why bother with smell loss?