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NHS England to commission long Covid GP enhanced service

NHS England to commission long Covid GP enhanced service

GPs will be funded to treat patients suffering with long Covid via a new enhanced service worth £30m, NHS England has announced.

It comes as NHS England today announced that GPs will soon be able to refer children and young people to new long Covid clinics as the specialist services are expanded.

It said it will set up 15 paediatric long Covid clinics, using £70m of a £100m investment in expanding care for the condition, while the other £30m would ‘go to GPs to improve diagnosis and care for those with Long Covid’.

In a bulletin send to GPs this evening, NHS England added that the £30m will be ‘made available to GPs to support around long Covid through a new enhanced service’.

It added that further details ‘will be made available shortly’.

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.

In December, new NICE guidance recommended that GPs should consider referring long Covid patients to specialist clinics as soon as four weeks after acute infection, after ruling out other diagnoses.

NHS England announced at the time that 69 long Covid clinics were in place around the country, with more sites expected to open in January.

But GPs previously warned that access to existing long Covid clinics is patchy, with only one fifth (21%) of GPs saying they currently had access to a clinic in their local area.

In March, the Government announced that NHS talking therapy services will be funded to link up with long Covid clinics as part of efforts to mitigate the mental health impacts of the pandemic.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 15 June, 2021 7:23 pm

Long covid clinics are “patchy”. Well said.
For some, you know the some, it will be cheaper for commissioners to offer a big hug and £39 re-energising flight to Malaga.

David Banner 15 June, 2021 7:39 pm

As there are no effective treatments for Long Covid, other than sympathy and “rehabilitation”, what exactly is the point of sinking endless millions into this service whilst waiting lists for surgery expand exponentially?
And who decides if it is a Long Covid patient rather than the myriad legions of TATT already clogging up surgeries pre-pandemic? Testing was not done early on, many younger patients were asymptomatic, and antibody testing is useless post vaccination.
This reeks of “we must look like we’re doing something “, unless it’s purely for research purposes.

Not on your nelly 15 June, 2021 9:26 pm

30 million quid spread over the whole country is not going to buy much of my time.

Hello My name is 15 June, 2021 9:31 pm

Call me a sceptic but many of the Long Covid victims are the same patients who used to attend with chronic tiredness or medically unexplained symptoms. Why do we have more long Covid in U.K. than comparable nations? Is it because the NHS cossets hypochondriacs?

John Graham Munro 15 June, 2021 9:54 pm

Open up the Nightingales again ——they’d soon fill up——-and of course you’d only need one ?nurse per ten beds and no doctors

Patrufini Duffy 15 June, 2021 10:34 pm

I know someone.
No antigen. No antibodies. Convinced had covid. Never hospitalised. Normal cxr. Normal MRI head. Normal echo. Normal 24 tape. Normal spirometry. Normal oximetry. Normal Feno. Normal bloods. Seen outside drinking lattes and got her hair done prancing around on the High Street. Convinced they have “Long covid”. Request for Long covid referral as their friends are all popping along for a check up. Please. Save the money. Build some playgrounds, and let children be happy for a change.

David Turner 16 June, 2021 10:25 am

Long Covid will , without doubt, become the new M.E.
Treatment ? well SSRIs and talking therapy, but you can bet most patients will refuse to accept there is any mental health element to their symptoms.
The alternative practitioners must be rubbing their hands and booking their winter holidays in the Caribbean!!

nasir hannan 16 June, 2021 12:52 pm

Antibodies to the spike protein could be vaccine related however antibodies to nucleocapsid could be related to previous covid infection. This could be a differentiator perhaps. I think that the development of a clinic will give us an opportunity for us to then look to develop research interventions at primary care level and also if a treatment is developed then it will lead to rapid roll out for this group of patients. The patients with this condition will be presenting in primary care anyway and I do therefore think that it is actually a good move by nhse to look at how we can work work together to deal with this problem. I hope that they work with the BMA GPC in the design of the service so that we can tackle this disease together.

terry sullivan 17 June, 2021 4:23 pm

does it exist–seems too soon–but plenty will abuse

govt wants to keep the scam going