Long Covid

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 13th April 2021.

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Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

What steps he is taking to improve the understanding and treatment of long covid.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are continuing to work with the NHS and the wider scientific community to understand better the long-lasting effects of covid-19 infection and the potential treatments. We are committed to supporting patients suffering from long covid. Specialist NHS assessment services have opened across England, and the “Your COVID Recovery” website contains support and provides a personalised programme for people recovering from covid-19, following a clinical consultation. More than £30 million of funding has already been committed to research projects and a further £20 million was made available on 25 March.

Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

I pay tribute to all NHS and military staff who are administering vaccines across the UK, including to my mum and dad last week. The Minister knows of the debilitating and lasting effects of long covid. She has just outlined the funding elements that she proposes to put forward. Will she tell us whether she might set up a specific taskforce to look at more research into the damage that long covid causes and the effects that it has on so many people?

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are already taking strong action in this area; we have already worked hard and are taking long covid seriously. We are listening to patients, taking a patient-first approach, working with the NHS and the wider scientific community, and engaging with the Royal College of General Practitioners to better understand the disease, which is physiological and neurological. It is different for different people, and therefore treatments need to be different for different people. We are working on ensuring that we have the best post-covid assessment care and the best pathways.