Community Nurses at Forefront of Care for People with Long Covid
16 March 2021
The National Institute of Health Research has published its second review of ongoing or Long Covid.
Living With Covid19 – a Dynamic Review of the Evidence on Ongoing Covid19 was published on 16 March 2021.
‘Long Covid’ can be a multi-system disease, requiring joined-up care management across specialities and between primary and secondary care. Nurses in the community, and primary and social care will play key roles in the design and implementation of the service delivery models needed to provide rapid access to an increasing number of people with a wide range of conditions associated with Long Covid.
Dr Elaine Maxwell, Content Lead, NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED) and lead author of the report said:
“The review discusses how seldom heard voices are not represented in the data of Long Covid. This includes the people being supported on a day-to-day basis by community nurses and nurses in residential settings. The needs of these often vulnerable people need to be better understood, particularly as they may not be able to access specialist clinics.”
Sharon Aldridge-Bent, Director of Nursing Programmes (Leadership) at the QNI commented:
“The NIHR Living with Covid19 Second Review has an emphasis on focussed evidence and identifying the key issues and challenges faced by people living with symptoms which reflect the potential long-term impact of Covid19. One of the key recommendations is about rapid evaluation of service models and skill mix for supporting people with Long Covid. Community and primary care nurses are best placed to inform and deliver those service models of care. They have in depth knowledge and experience of the populations they serve and will be at the forefront in leading and managing service delivery.”
The review notes that: “Long Covid can be very debilitating and some people need help with personal care months after the initial infection. 71% of respondents to [the NIHR] survey said Long Covid was affecting family life and 39% said it was impacting their ability to care for dependents.”
As well as clinical rehabilitation care, some people need ongoing social care. The review states that “particular attention should be paid to the impact of Long Covid on vulnerable people, (such as older people with pre-existing health conditions) who may not have been captured in research to date and who may be tipped into a state of frailty.”
The full Review can be read online or downloaded from the NIHR website at:
Notes to Editors:
Living With Covid19 – Second Review (NIHR, 16 March 2021): https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/NIHR_COVID_REPORT_FINAL-150321-1.pdf
The Queen’s Nursing Institute is represented on the Review’s Steering Group.
The review was written by Elaine Maxwell with Ruth Poole, Senior Healthcare Evaluation Scientist, Cedar Evaluation Centre, Cardiff.