WHF Policy conference: Long COVID
Improving patient care and access to support, progress in service development, and priority areas for research
Morning, Tuesday, 22nd March 2022
Westminster Health Forum policy conference
Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair, Long COVID Funding Committee and Medical Director, Clinical Research Network, NIHR
Dr Gail Allsopp, Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy, Royal College of General Practitioners
Professor Chris Brightling, Clinical Professor in Respiratory Medicine, University of Leicester
Dr Katrina Delargy, Managing Director, TIYGA health
Claire Hastie, Founder, Long Covid Support
Rebecca Logan, Long COVID Patient
Sammie Mcfarland, CEO and Founder, Long Covid Kids
Dr Peter Bagshaw, Somerset CCG; Ekpemi Irune, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Andrew Potter, NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System; and Dr David Strain, University of Exeter
Dr Daniel Poulter MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Global Health
Baroness Thornton, Shadow Spokesperson for Health, House of Lords
This conference will examine developments in Long COVID research and treatment and follows the updated NICE guidelines for managing the long-term effects of Long COVID.
Delegates will discuss policy priorities for furthering clinical understanding, improving care provision, and supporting the health workforce.
It will be an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the NHS Long COVID plan for 2021/22, how to utilise funding set out for the expansion of services and management of Long COVID within primary care, the future outlook for Long COVID research, and the impact of new NIHR-funded projects.
We are pleased to include keynote sessions with Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair, Long COVID Funding Committee and Medical Director, Clinical Research Network, NIHR; and Dr Gail Allsopp, Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy, Royal College of General Practitioners.
Key areas for discussion include:
- delivery of the Long COVID Plan and the utilisation of allocated funding
- priority areas for research to further improve understanding of Long COVID and the effectiveness of services developed for the condition
- care pathways within local health systems – leadership, implementation and commissioning, service development, rehabilitation, the impact of health inequalities, and integrating care
- Long COVID assessment clinics:
- assessing progress and what more is needed to improve accessibility and support referrals from primary care
- priorities for the development of services for children
- support for the health workforce – training and education priorities and sharing best practice in Long COVID care
- utilising data – scaling up its use and improving understanding of Long COVID and its prevalence
- involving patients – the development of Long COVID services, driving awareness of expanded online support, and improving equal accessibility to information
The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC; the DWP; the FCDO; the MHRA; and the NAO – as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the Scottish Parliament.
Key areas for discussion:
The Long COVID Plan
- progress – assessing what has been achieved in terms of delivery and the utilisation of allocated funding, including for expanding Long COVID services, and possible next steps
Research priorities and ensuring clinical guidance keeps pace
- future of research – assessing:
- the outlook for Long COVID research going forward, priorities for investment, and identifying areas which require improved understanding
- the effectiveness of the services and treatments developed so far and keeping these up to date with the latest research
- guidance – strategies for regularly updating clinical guidance with the latest understanding of Long COVID and developments around effective treatment and service provision
- Long COVID in children – what is needed from research to improve understanding of how Long COVID occurs in children, and taking forward effective paediatric service development
- patient experience – sharing the effects of Long COVID on patients and how these experiences can contribute to research and the development of services
Long COVID pathways within local health systems
- implementation priorities – assessing:
- the development of pathways within local areas to support patients with rehabilitation
- the role of patient-centred care in delivering effective pathways
- implementation challenges and how these can be overcome
- what is needed for developing pathways for less common symptoms
- integrated care – how best to support integration within local areas, encourage collaboration and partnerships, and provide integrated services for Long COVID patients
- rehabilitation – opportunities for utilising specialist knowledge to develop effective pathways to support patients with symptoms and identifying areas of understanding which need more attention
- hospitalised patients – examining:
- the common Long COVID symptoms that present in patients severely affected by COVID-19
- latest thinking on ways to support the development of pathways and the rehabilitation of patients in these cases
Assessment clinics, accessibility, and health inequalities
- implementation – addressing challenges being faced in local areas in setting up clinics alongside other operational pressures
- accessibility – how best to improve access to Long COVID support within the community and raising awareness of support available online, including the Your COVID Recovery rehabilitation platform
- health inequalities – priorities for:
- reaching vulnerable groups in the community and raising awareness of Long COVID with harder to reach groups
- improving understanding of service uptake by gender and ethnicity
- ensuring information and support is accessible to those for whom English isn’t their first language
Primary care and support for the health workforce
- support – evaluating the impact of funding for Long COVID services within primary care and priorities going forward
- workforce – identifying the training and support needed for the general practice workforce to understand and feel confident in diagnosing Long COVID and refer effectively, as well as wider workforce challenges
- management – supporting patients to manage their condition, developing best practice, and monitoring recovery
- the potential – exploring:
- opportunities presented by the use of data in understanding the condition
- how this can be used to identify knowledge gaps and develop services and treatments
- health inequalities – assessing how data can be used to support the mitigation of health inequalities
- £19.6m awarded to new research studies to help diagnose and treat Long COVID – new NIHR-funded research aiming to look across the full condition from diagnosis to recovery and rehabilitation
- Long COVID: the NHS plan for 2021/22 – which sets out what is already known about Long COVID and the priorities for advancing this going forward, including:
- the expansion of services, including the assessment clinics which were introduced as part of the previous plan in 2020
- the requirement for all health systems to develop Long COVID service plans by July 2021
- supporting the management of Long COVID within primary care as well as improving referrals and access to specialist assessment clinics
- the establishment of 15 post-COVID assessment hubs for children
- initiatives to improve the coordination of care through care coordinators
- expanding the Your COVID online programme with improvements for accessibility
- collecting and publishing of Long COVID data to support performance and research, including for improving understanding and mitigating health inequalities
- offering comprehensive support for the health workforce affected by Long COVID
- National guidance for post-COVID syndrome assessment clinics – published to support the commissioning of assessment clinics and the delivery of Long COVID local services
- Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice – which includes a Winter Access Fund, aiming to address challenges within general practice over the winter and improve patient accessibility
- COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 – updated NICE guidance which defines Long COVID and includes recommendations for practitioners, commissioners, and staff involved in service delivery, as well as more guidance for Long COVID in children
- Coronavirus and the social impacts of ‘Long COVID’ on people’s lives in Great Britain: 7 April to 13 June 2021 – ONS data finding that 6.2% of adults had experienced Long COVID over this period
- cross-party letter to the Secretary of State – coordinated by the APPG on Coronavirus, calling for a strategy to address Long COVID and giving recommendations following research
- Your COVID Recovery – the launch of an online platform to support recovery from COVID-19
Chairs and speakers
Keynote contributions: Dr Gail Allsopp, Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy, Royal College of General Practitioners; Professor Chris Brightling, Clinical Professor in Respiratory Medicine, University of Leicester; Dr Katrina Delargy, Managing Director, TIYGA health; Claire Hastie, Founder, Long Covid Support; Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair, Long COVID Funding Committee and Medical Director, Clinical Research Network, NIHR; Rebecca Logan, Long COVID Patient; and Sammie Mcfarland, CEO and Founder, Long Covid Kids.
Speakers also confirmed: Dr Peter Bagshaw, Mental Health and Dementia Clinical Lead, Somerset CCG; Ekpemi Irune, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat, Head & Neck and Thyroid Surgeon, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Andrew Potter, Clinical Lead, Post COVID Assessment Service, NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System; and Dr David Strain, Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Exeter.
Chaired by: Dr Daniel Poulter MP, Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Global Health; and Baroness Thornton, Shadow Spokesperson for Health, House of Lords.
Further senior participants are being approached.
Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the Scottish Parliament, and officials from the Department of Health and Social Care; the Department for Work and Pensions; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency; and the National Audit Office. Also due to attend are representatives from CLL Support Association; ISRCTN registry; NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria; Stansted Surgery; University of Plymouth; and Worcestershire Association of Carers.
Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials in this area of public policy, together with industry representatives, primary care and community health specialists, research and development organisations, executive agencies, regulators, the independent and third sector, patient groups, manufacturers, law firms and consultancies, academics and think tanks, and reporters from the national and specialist media.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks – you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates – we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials are made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- video recordings – including slides – are also available to purchase
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference
To book places, please use the online booking form.
Once submitted, this will be taken as a confirmed booking and will be subject to our terms and conditions below.
You can also pay in advance by credit card on 01344 864796. If advance credit card payment is not possible, please let me know and we may be able to make other arrangements.
Options and charges are as follows:
- Access to Long COVID – improving patient care and access to support, progress in service development, and priority areas for research going forward (plus a permanent record of proceedings) is £210 plus VAT per delegate
- Concessionary rate places for small charities, unfunded individuals and those in similar circumstances are £95 plus VAT. Please be sure to apply for this at the time of booking.
If you find the charge for places a barrier to attending:
- please let me know as concessionary and complimentary places are made available in certain circumstances
- typical eligibility: individual service users or carers not supported by or part of an organisation, full-time students, unemployed and fully retired people with no paid work, and small charities
- concessions are not offered to businesses, individuals funded by an organisation, or larger charities/not-for-profit companies.
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