Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Long COVID - priorities for research and improving patient care, treatment and support

Morning, Thursday, 22nd April 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is focusing on the ongoing research into the long-lasting effects of COVID-19, and the priorities for coordinating effective care provision and treatment.

The conference follows NICE guidance being published on managing the long-term effects of COVID, and NHS England setting up long COVID assessment centres across the country.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • progress of research so far and priority focus areas going forward
  • development of guidance for long COVID
  • improving patient awareness, supporting self-management, and the importance of patient-centred care delivery
  • the role of long COVID assessment centres and early lessons from their development
  • supporting primary care in responding effectively to long COVID, integrated working and priorities for the use of multidisciplinary teams in assessment and rehabilitation

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords and key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; the MHRA; DWP; the FCDO; and the UK Statistics Authority.

Relevant developments:

  • COVID-19 rapid guideline: Managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 - from NICE, on:
    • confirmed common symptoms and recommendations on identification, assessment, care, management and monitoring
    • establishing long COVID services and future areas for research
  • NHS England’s five point plan - including commissioning NICE guidance, the online Your COVID Recovery support platform, development of long COVID clinics with £10m investment, NIHR research, and the establishment of a long COVID taskforce
  • Your COVID Recovery - an online tool to support patients with understanding and managing their COVID recovery process
  • long COVID assessment sites - the announcement of more than 80 specialist clinics being set up around the country for patients with long-term symptoms
  • research programmes - led by the NIHR and UKRI, including projects involving non-hospitalised patients to improve understanding and mitigation
  • parliamentary call for evidence - the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus seeking consultation those who have continuing health problems from COVID, and calling for compensation for long COVID sufferers

Key areas for discussion:

  • research:
    • progress - in understanding the long-term effects of COVID, and what this can look like for hospitalised and non-hospitalised patients
    • recovery - priorities and progress for research into treatments for long COVID symptoms
    • patient engagement - including in:
      • the process of determining the priority areas for research into long COVID going forward
      • understanding the risk groups, developing interventions, and improving general understanding of the prevalence of long COVID across the country
  • guidance:
    • in the midst of the pandemic - keeping pace with priorities during a public health emergency, including the process of review and updating as understanding improves
    • assessing the approach - looking at information and methods used to develop the guidance, and any areas that require increased focus over the coming months
  • patient awareness, support and self-management:
    • awareness - development of materials and information to improve understanding of the long-term effects of COVID
    • support - priorities for accessibility and engagement with vulnerable groups, and those who are digitally deprived or otherwise disadvantaged, ensuring information on symptoms and available support is available
    • self-management - including the development of Your COVID Recovery, looking at uptake and use so far, and indications of effectiveness in helping patients with their recovery process
  • patient-centred care - best practice and practicalities of involving the patient in care decisions, and identifying recovery or rehabilitation plans that meet their needs and demands
  • long COVID assessment sites - looking at:
    • progress in development - tailoring them to local need and resources, and meeting multidisciplinary team requirements
    • early lessons learnt - for improving service user experience and sharing data records across local health teams to deliver joined-up care
  • primary care - supporting the workforce to respond to long COVID cases and feel confident in providing care and referrals, as well as integrated working, and utilising services across primary care
  • rehabilitation - priorities for:
    • utilising specialist knowledge - and providing effective care, including for those that were hospitalised
    • developing plans for outpatients - and those not hospitalised, but requiring specialist care as a result of multi-symptom effects from COVID
    • support more broadly - including helping patients get back to work, and helping employers prepare for disruption as a result of long COVID
  • looking forward - evaluating the ongoing impact of long COVID into the future and how it can be mitigated, and how the work on long COVID fits into the national pandemic response and recovery

The agenda

  • The development of guidance for managing the effects of long COVID
  • Progress of long COVID assessment centres in meeting local population needs
  • Delivering multi-disciplinary assessments, working collaboratively, utilising specialist skills, coordinating local provision, and patient-centred care
  • Priorities for supporting primary care in the delivery of effective long COVID provision
  • Enabling effective patient support and taking a personalised approach to care
  • Identifying groups affected by long COVID, and channelling care and support towards those who need it most
  • Assessing the progress of long COVID rehabilitation so far and next steps for improving delivery
  • Evaluating the long-term impact of long COVID as part of the national response to the pandemic
  • National research efforts into long COVID so far and key priority areas going forward

Policy officials attending:

Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords and officials from the Department of Health and Social Care; the DWP; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency; and the UK Statistics Authority. Also due to attend are representatives from the Camberley Alzheimer Cafe CIO; Doctor Care Anywhere; Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust; National Institute for Health Research; NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group; Post Covid Assessment Service, Post Covid Assessment Service, Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) ICS; Salivary Gland Cancer UK; Southern Health and Social Care Trust; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; University Hospitals Birmingham Heartlands Hospital; University of Cambridge and UWE, Bristol.

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, is 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
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Dr Elaine Maxwell

Content Lead, Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, National Institute for Health Research

Dr Gail Allsopp

Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy, Royal College of General Practitioners

Keynote Speakers

Dr Graham Burns

Clinical Lead, Long Covid Centre, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and President, British Thoracic Society

Dr Gail Allsopp

Clinical Lead for Clinical Policy, Royal College of General Practitioners

Dr David Strain

Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Exeter Medical School; Member, NHS Long COVID Taskforce; and Clinical Lead for COVID services, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Fiona Glen

Programme Director - Public Health and Social Care, Central Leadership Team, NICE

Dr Elaine Maxwell

Content Lead, Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, National Institute for Health Research


Dr Emily Fraser

Respiratory Medicine Consultant, Clinical Lead, Oxfordshire MDT Post-COVID Clinic, Oxford University Hospitals

Dr Jo House

Member, Long COVID Patient Reference Group, NIHR

Senior speaker confirmed from Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation