Long Covid Minister needed to respond to growing crisis


  • 3rd February 2021
Psl long covid support group

(London, UK, 3 February 2020) – The charity Patient Safety Learning and patient group Long Covid Support are calling for the creation of a dedicated Minister for Long Covid to take a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to this issue.[1]

Long Covid patients are people with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 who continue to struggle with prolonged, debilitating and sometimes severe symptoms months later.[2] Statistics indicate that there are currently hundreds of thousands of people living with Long Covid in the UK, with at least one in 10 people still experiencing symptoms 12 weeks after initial infection.[3]

While there has been some progress to put in place support for people with Long Covid, there remains a complex spectrum of issues that need to be addressed. These are summarised in a blog, published by Patient Safety Learning and Long Covid Support today, calling for the UK Government to make urgent and significant improvements in their response to Long Covid.[4]

Claire Hastie of the Long Covid Support, said:

“Almost one year on from when many first fell ill, people with Long Covid are simply not getting the help they need. There is an urgent need to increase the pace and scale of the response to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected (including children). This needs to be driven by a dedicated minister with the power to affect change.”

Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning, said:

“People living with Long Covid have too often been left ‘joining the dots’ trying to understand how they can access safe, quality treatment and support and what they can do to improve their health. Clinical advice and access to further investigations has been inconsistent, leaving many feeling abandoned, confused and understandably concerned for their future health outcomes.

Long Covid not only impacts people’s physical and mental health, but also their ability to work and their economic circumstances. We believe the appointment of a Minister for Long Covid would help to provide leadership, accountability and a coordinated response to these challenges.”

Notes to editors

[1] Patient Safety Learning is a charity and independent voice for improving patient safety. We harness the knowledge, insights, enthusiasm and commitment of health and social care organisations, professionals and patients for system-wide change and the reduction of avoidable harm.

[2] The symptoms for those with Long Covid vary greatly but many are experiencing rashes, shortness of breath, neurological and gastrointestinal problems, abnormal temperatures, cardiac symptoms and extreme fatigue.

[3] Office for National Statistics, The prevalence of Long Covid symptoms and Covid-19 complications, 16 December 2020. https://www.ons.gov.uk/news/statementsandletters/theprevalenceoflongcovidsymptomsandcovid19complications

[4] Patient Safety Learning and Long Covid Support, Long Covid Minister needed to respond to the growing crisis, 3 February 2020. https://www.patientsafetylearning.org/blog/long-covid-minister-needed-to-respond-to-growing-crisis


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