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NICE and SIGN announce latest guideline will address Long COVID

NICE and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) have announced they will work with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop a guideline on persistent effects of COVID-19 (Long Covid) on patients.

NICE and SIGN will develop the guideline jointly with the RCGP, alongside an independent cross-specialty clinical group. People have reported persistent symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of how ill they were initially or whether they were hospitalised. Longer term impacts can include on-going shortness of breath, fatigue, heart, lung, kidney, neurological and musculoskeletal problems. It is estimated there could be as many as 60,000 people in the UK who probably have Long COVID.

The guideline will address, among other things, a formal definition of the disease, how to identify on-going symptoms and a definition of best practice investigation and treatment options to support the management of the condition across diverse communities.

Paul Chrisp, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: “There is growing evidence to suggest COVID-19 is a multi-system disease that for many people involves persistent symptoms with longer term impacts on their health. It is important, therefore, that people requiring ongoing support and treatment are identified quickly and are supported by the NHS throughout every stage of their journey. We also want to ensure that clinicians have clear guidance on how best to support patients struggling with this newly emerging disease.”

Roberta James, Programme Lead for SIGN, said: “National guidance in this emerging field will help to align services with the needs of people who may be at risk of receiving inconsistent care. The guideline will support health and care services with recommendations on monitoring, testing, treatment options and the provision of advice and support for those who are experiencing these long-term effects.”

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:“Treating or managing any new virus or condition is a challenge for healthcare professionals whose priority is always trying to deliver the best possible care for their patients. The College is delighted to be working with both NICE and SIGN to develop this guideline. It aims to support GPs and other healthcare professionals to ensure all patients with long term effects of COVID-19, including those diagnosed in the community irrespective of whether they received a positive test or not, can be cared for in the best possible way, based on the latest evidence.” 

It is expected that the guideline on the longer term patient impact of COVID-19 will be published by the end of the year.

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Upcoming Events

Arab Health 2022

Dubai World Trade Centre
24th - 27th January

Knowlex Infection Prevention & Control 2022

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
8th - 9th February

Central Sterilising Club 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6YR
4th - 5th April

iM Med Decontamination Academy Spring Conference

Royal College of Physicians, London
11th May 2022

NPAG Theatres and Decontamination Conference

Coventry Building Society Arena
19th May 2022

EBME Expo 2022

Coventry Building Society Arena, Phoenix Way, Rowleys Green, Coventry CV6 6GE
28th - 29th June

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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