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GPs given until end of next month to sign up to 50p/patient long Covid ES


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GP practices will have until 31 July to sign up to the new long Covid enhanced service (ES), which will pay just under 50p per registered patient.

The ES, which is worth a total of £30m and expected to run until at least 31 March 2022, is ‘for GP practices to plan their workforce set up, training needs and infrastructure in order to support patients with this new condition’, the specification said.

It said the ES was created because long Covid is ‘complex, and ‘will require professional education, consistent coding of patients, planning of practice clinical pathways to assess and support patients and consideration of measures to reduce the risk of inequity of access to support’.

Practices will be paid, in monthly instalments, £0.371 per registered patient (75% of payment) upon sign-up, and the remaining  £0.124 per registered patient (25%) ‘upon commissioner confirmation that the self-assessment set out above has been completed by 31 March 2022’.

The document stressed this funding is ‘in addition to the funding already available to practices through global sum which reflects their core contractual responsibility for the provision of essential services to this cohort of patients’.

The initial role of ‘the general practice clinician’ is to ‘exclude acute or life-threatening complications and other unrelated diagnoses’ when patients with previously confirmed or suspected Covid-19 presents with ‘a wide range of symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue, chest pains, cognitive impairment or psychological symptoms’, the specification stated.

GP assessment may include ‘blood tests, chest X-rays or clinical tests, including sit-to-stand or lying and standing blood pressure, depending on the person’s signs and symptoms (as per NICE/SIGN/RCGP guidance)’, the document said, adding that ‘advice, treatment or referral to the relevant acute or specialist services may be required’.

Patients included under the ES include those who have ongoing symptomatic Covid from 4-12 weeks after the initial infection; as well as those with post-Covid syndrome, i.e. Covid symptoms that ‘continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis’.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), long Covid is still affecting about a million people in the UK, with the number of patients living with symptoms for many months on the rise.

Options for treatment include:

  • Signposting to self-management support including the online platform Your COVID Recovery (YCR) Phase 1 https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ 
  • Supported self-management from the practice or primary care network team; this may include input from social prescribers, health and wellbeing coaches and care coordinators with linking into community groups or other existing community services as appropriate
  • Referral into a Post COVID assessment clinic if self-management alone is not appropriate and if further investigations or support are required.

Source: NHS England

READERS' COMMENTS [11]

Patrufini Duffy 21 June, 2021 7:42 pm

The juggernaut practices will just sign up. Keep signing. Like sheep.

terry sullivan 21 June, 2021 7:46 pm

just ttfo! its an insult

John Graham Munro 22 June, 2021 12:17 am

Its still money——-that will attract G.Ps

Dave Haddock 22 June, 2021 8:33 am

ME with a positive Covid test. They can have my answer now.

Patrufini Duffy 22 June, 2021 12:33 pm

Long covid “syndrome” is defined as after 12 weeks. Great. That should whittle the medicalisation of nothingness down. Just tell them to call back after the Euros and their trip to Malaga – they’ll probably forget. By then you’d have printed your 9am cortisol bloods and got their current BMI and ECG ordered and realised you’ve just done an MOT for essentially the hospital for nothing.

David jenkins 22 June, 2021 1:11 pm

50p per patient – wow !!

knock off tax, (that the government will spend on bombs to drop on people you’ve never met).

divide by the number of hours you have to work to get it, and you’ll realise you’d be better off stacking shelves in tesco.

and all for a completely useless excercise just so the government look as if they are doing something !

no thankyou !!

Turn out The Lights 22 June, 2021 2:48 pm

Two Pence under an oncoming bus comes to mind.

Paul Attwood 22 June, 2021 3:13 pm

10 shillings? Princely sum. Pay for a new hubcap for the Bentley doncha know.

John Graham Munro 22 June, 2021 3:35 pm

As an example of my previous comment——-I recall a G.P. way back who was very upset that he was unable to report a case of Measles due to lost paperwork——all for the sake of a couple of bob

Hello My name is 23 June, 2021 8:50 am

Fabulous illustrative photo. But is it meant to depict one of the poor victims of long-Covid, or their GP despairing at this pointless exercise in mental health support for those already suffering with over-medicalisation of their everyday woes? Either way, great pic.

I find myself wondering, will the ME brigade dare to attach their flag to long-Covid? Should we expect to see a consequent fall in the prevalence in ME to compensate for the rise in long-Covid? And where is the money coming from? People are dying of cancer, didn’t you notice?

James Weems 23 June, 2021 11:01 pm

Throwing cash at it I see!