A plan to ‘further clarify the role of general practice’ in supporting long Covid patients is due in spring 2022, a health minister has said.
Lord Kamall, parliamentary under-secretary for the DHSC, mentioned the plan in a written response to a question from Baroness Masham of Ilton, a crossbench peer.
Baroness Masham had asked what steps the Government is taking to ‘encourage GPs to develop expertise in long Covid’ to allow them to help patients with the condition.
In his reply, Lord Kamall said the previously-announced long Covid GP enhanced service would ‘increase knowledge on identifying, assessing, referring and supporting patients experiencing the long term effects of Covid-19’.
But he also added: ‘NHS England and NHS Improvement are also developing a plan to further clarify the role of general practice, which is due for publication in spring 2022.’
It comes as NICE published its final guideline on long Covid in November last year, which said clinicians should consider referring patients with long-term symptoms of Covid-19 to specialist clinics as soon as four weeks after acute infection after ruling out other diagnoses.
Research from February this year found people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are around half as likely to develop long Covid symptoms as unvaccinated people or those who had only received one vaccine dose.