NICE and SIGN to explore Long Covid

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

It is estimated there could be as many as 60,000 people in the UK who have Long Covid; shortness of breath, fatigue, heart, lung, kidney, neurological and musculoskeletal problems.

The guideline to be developed aims to address 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.

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.