RCGP responds to NHS England's long COVID plan 2021/2022
Publication date: 16 June 2021
Dr Gail Allsopp, Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy for the Royal College of GPs, said the following.
“GPs and our teams are the forefront of delivering physical, psychological, and emotional support to an increasing number of patients suffering with long term symptoms of COVID-19.
“The College has been calling for more in post-COVID syndrome (long COVID) education, treatment and rehabilitation for some time. Whilst we await full details, it’s encouraging that £30 million will be invested into general practice to support GPs and our teams to deliver high-quality care to patients suffering with post-COVID syndrome. And, £70 million into expanding other NHS long COVID services, including the establishing of ‘paediatric hubs’ for children and young people. This should give GPs better access to specialist services that can be of real benefit for patients.
“What we now need to see is increased access for GPs and our teams to appropriate diagnostic tools in the community. This speeds up the initial investigatory phase that GPs undertake to rule out other potential serious conditions or illnesses, before making a diagnosis of post-COVID syndrome.
“Perhaps most importantly, we need government to expand and fully fund rehabilitation services, in addition to the assessment clinics already in place, so GPs have better access to these services and are able to refer patients to receive the care and treatment that they need quickly.
“The College has also been working to develop its own resources, such as an e-learning course on post-COVID syndrome, and held webinars to ensure GPs and their teams are kept up to date with emerging evidence, to improve the care delivered to our patients. These resources are free, and available to all healthcare professionals on our website.
“As a College we will continue to work towards equity of care for everyone suffering the long-term effects of COVID-19, wherever they live across the UK.”
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Notes to editor
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.