To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations he has received on covid-19 patients who experience long-lasting effects of that virus; what research he has commissioned into the long-term effect of covid-19 on certain patients; what estimate he has made of the number of individuals who experience long-term effects of covid-19; and what plans he has to ensure the NHS is able to provide the appropriate care for such patients.
The National Health Service and the wider scientific community are currently working to better understand the disease course of COVID-19 infection, including the prevalence, severity and duration of symptoms, and how best to support recovery. The National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation have invested £8.4 million in the Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID), led by Christopher Brightling at the University of Leicester. This study is one of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients.
The NHS is working to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other longer-term complications. As part of this, in July the NHS launched ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service, a personalised programme to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus.