RCGP, NICE and SIGN update long COVID guidance

The Royal College of GPs, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network have updated their long COVID guidance

Dr Gail Allsopp, RCGP lead for long COVID, said: “The prolonged health effects that some patients experience after contracting COVID-19 can have a terrible impact on their lives – and as GPs, we want to do everything we can to help them.

“This revised guidance on ‘long COVID’, updated jointly by the RCGP, NICE and SIGN, reflects the latest evidence and ongoing research into post-COVID syndrome, which we must remember is still a relatively new condition that we are learning more about all the time. It includes additions to the most commonly reported symptoms, as well as reflecting the impact ‘long COVID’ can have on a patient’s overall quality of life, including the potential for increased risk of reduced performance and/or increased absence at school or work. Other new recommendations include encouraging patients to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce the risk of catching the virus again.

“This updated guidance should further equip GPs and other clinicians with the latest knowledge and evidence, to help quickly identify patients suffering with long COVID, and ensure the most appropriate care and support is delivered. The RCGP is also running free monthly educational sessions, to support GPs to keep up to date with any emerging evidence on ‘long COVID’.

“The College is continuing to call for better access to diagnostic tools in the community, so that GPs can rule out other serious conditions and ensure patients receive a timely diagnosis of long COVID, as well as further investment into rehabilitation services in the community, so that patients diagnosed with ‘long COVID’ can receive the specialist care and services they need.”

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