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Long Covid

Volume 681: debated on Tuesday 6 October 2020

I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman would welcome yesterday’s announcement that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network will work with the Royal College of General Practitioners to develop guidelines to support patients and practitioners in the treatment of and recovery from the disease. This follows on from the NHS launch in July of the Your COVID Recovery service, which provides personalised support for individuals. In addition, we are funding research into covid-19, including a study of 10,000 patients who were admitted to hospital with covid, building our understanding of the long-term effects and helping direct those improved treatments that are needed.

I thank the Minister for that helpful and comprehensive answer. If she has not already read it, may I commend to her the most recent edition of The Doctor, the British Medical Association magazine, which outlines several compelling case studies of GPs who are still suffering, some up to six months, after they first contracted covid? There is a growing body of evidence that a number of people continue to suffer with this months after it has been contracted, in a quite debilitating way. Will she build on the work that she is already doing and make the case to the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions in particular to ensure that all those who suffer from long covid get the support that is necessary for them?

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that statement and I will read the document that he mentions with interest. It is a new disease on which we are still gathering evidence and data, so that we know how we can best support the individual in their recovery and, arguably, in their new covid-tinged life. I assure him that that is precisely what I shall be doing—looking at the evidence base and making sure we work with the colleges and general practitioners to ensure that we get the right answers.