Information for the public

‘Long COVID’: the care you should expect

Some people who have had COVID-19 do not get better as quickly as expected, even those who were not severely ill. Many people are finding they are still unwell more than 4 weeks after the start of their infection, and some develop new problems over several weeks. Long COVID is one term that has been used to describe these symptoms, which can change and come and go over time.

Long COVID is very new and not much is known about it, which can make it hard for people to get care when they need it and for healthcare professionals to know how best to help people. To tackle this, NICE, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have worked together on this guideline.

We will keep updating this guideline as we find out more about long COVID.

NICE, RCGP and SIGN have produced a booklet about long COVID that gives more detail about what the guideline says about care for people with long COVID. The information covers:

  • What long COVID is and how to tell if you have it.
  • How symptoms will be assessed and tests you might be offered.
  • How your care will be planned, and who will be involved.
  • What may help your symptoms, including things you can do yourself or how rehabilitation could help.
  • Follow-up appointments.
  • Where to find more information.

See also, the SIGN long COVID Patient Information app.

Making decisions together

Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns.

If you can’t understand any of the information you are given, tell your healthcare professional.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

Where can I find out more?

The NHS website and Your COVID Recovery website have more information about the long-term effects of COVID-19.

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites. To share an experience of care you have received, contact your local Healthwatch.

We wrote this guideline with people who have been affected by long COVID and staff who treat and support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3960-2

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