Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Call for more investment in long Covid research amid ‘postcode lottery’ of care

Long Covid is treated by some clinics as a physical condition but mainly as a psychological condition by others (Peter Byrne/PA)
Long Covid is treated by some clinics as a physical condition but mainly as a psychological condition by others (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Government is being urged to increase investment in long Covid research after being warned that patients are suffering under a “postcode lottery” in care.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the problem will exacerbate health inequalities.

Delegates at the RCN’s annual congress in Glasgow will hear on Tuesday that diagnosis and treatment vary hugely across the UK.

Long Covid is treated by some clinics as a physical condition but mainly as a psychological condition by others, and existing services are woefully inadequate to meet the level of demand, according to the RCN.

Latest official data estimates that two million people are experiencing self-reported long Covid.

The RCN is calling for the Government to significantly increase its investment in research and care so that patients are treated fairly across the UK to prevent damaging health inequalities being exacerbated.

The RCN said it also wants nursing expertise to be used more widely to treat the condition.

The College said that, where nursing staff are used in long Covid care, they play a pivotal role in managing patient care and treating chronic symptoms.

The RCN’s professional lead for public health, Helen Donovan, said: “As nursing staff we see first hand how life-limiting long Covid can be, especially when patients are suffering with complex chronic symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain and brain fog.

“With over two million sufferers, there aren’t enough specialist services to meet the growing demand, and the help patients get varies hugely across the country.

“What’s clear is that the understanding nursing staff have of managing long-term conditions, including pain management, is not being used effectively.

“Ministers must significantly increase investment in long Covid research and support to ensure there are enough services and they are consistent across the UK.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Long Covid is a new challenge for healthcare systems all over the world and the UK is leading the way on research, treatment and care.

“We are backing our world-leading scientists with over £50 million to better understand the long-term debilitating effects of Covid, so we can ensure the right help and the right treatments are available.

“The NHS has committed £224 million to support people with ongoing symptoms of Covid, with over 90 specialist clinics offering services to adults, children and young people.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]