The high spread of high Covid across the UK puts more demand on an already “finite source of care” and reinforces the need for urgent investment in workers, leaders have urged profession.
The warning follows two new research studies suggesting that as many as two million people in England may have chronic Covid, and up to one in six UK adults with Covid- 19 who went on to report symptoms of high Covid.
“Nurses are already creating a lot more load of care related to high Covid and this is likely to continue”
Sharon Aldridge-Bent, director of nursing (leadership) programs at the Queen’s Nursing Institute, said Watch Hours that these communities and primary care nurses “are in the best position to respond to the high Covid challenge, about how many people have been affected by it, for how long, and in the different ways it has affected of the people “.
“Nurses are already creating a lot more burden of care associated with high Covid and this could continue,” he said.
He stressed that there needs to be “a lot of investment in nursing services to meet the challenge”, which he said is “combined with different long-term management to increase the need for skilled community nurses and primary care. atiman “.
QNI recently organized a “highly expert group of Covid nurses” with support from NHS England and Development working to share the knowledge and expertise that Ms Aldridge-Bent said would “help to multiple community and primary care nurses to identify and manage symptoms of high Covid as part of a multidisciplinary team ”.
Meanwhile, Jude Diggins, Royal College of Nursing interim director of care, policy and public affairs, said it was clear that, as the health service began to recover from the pandemic, there was a “new challenge to care for those who show high Covid ”.
“The long-term effects of Covid-19 are not yet fully understood but it is increasingly clear that many do not experience straightforward recovery,” he said. Watch Hours.
He praised the recent advances in specialist clinics in England for those with high Covid, but cited the increasing condition as “more need for an end-to-end source of care”. .
“This is another example that highlights the urgent need for a fully funded workers’ plan tailored to the needs of the population, ”Ms Diggins pointed out.
Latest findings from REACT-2 study, of Imperial College London, suggests that more than two million people in England are thought to have one or more Covid-19 symptoms that last at least 12 weeks.
This conclusion is consistent with self-reported data from more than 500,000 adults aged 18 and older, who participated in the study between September 2020 and February 2021.
Among those surveyed around a fifth (19.2%) reported that they had previously had Covid-19 and those, more than a third (37.7%) reported at least one persistent symptom of Covid-19 lasting 12 weeks. or more.
“Our findings paint a picture of the longer-term health outcomes of Covid-19, which must be taken into account in policy and planning”
Meanwhile, 14.8% of those who had previously had Covid-19, said they had experienced three or more symptoms at 12 weeks or more.
When translated into prevalence across England, the researchers suggested that 5.8% of the population experienced one or more persistent symptoms after Covid -19 – equivalent to more than two million adults.
While 2.2% or less of a million adults in England experience three or more persistent symptoms.
Further analysis showed that the prevalence of persistent symptoms increases with age and that chronic Covid cases are higher in women, people who are overweight or obese, those who are smoked, lived in deprived areas, or was hospitalized with Covid-19.
People with persistent symptoms at 12 weeks fell into two broad groups, the researchers said.
The most common symptoms in the majority group were fatigue and muscle aches, while in the latter there was a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms, the study stated, published on Thursday.
It added that health professionals should “be aware of the various manifestations of high Covid that may require tailored treatment modalities” and warned that managing the condition “will remain a major challenge for health services in the next phase of the pandemic ”.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of Imperial’s REACT program, said: “Our findings speak volumes about the long-term health outcomes of Covid-19, which need to be taken into account in policy and planning.”
He pointed out that the long -term Covid is “not very well understood”, but he hopes that “through our research we can contribute to better identifying and managing this condition, as suggested by our data and others that eventually affect millions of people in the UK alone. ”.
To help understand the long-term effects of Covid-19, the government has given scientists £ 50m in research funding through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Currently, the NHS in England is opening more than 80 Covid screening services across the country to support those with the condition.
Responding to the study, health and health care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Long Covid can have a lasting and debilitating impact on the lives of those affected.
“Studies like this help us quickly understand the impact of the condition and we use this knowledge and other new research to improve support and treatment.”
A separate study, published by King’s College London and University College London on Thursday, added to the growing evidence surrounding the situation.
Research findings suggest that one in six (17%) of those in the middle class who stated they had previously had Covid-19 also reported elevated Covid symptoms.
This number fell to one in 13 (7.8%) of young adults who reported having Covid-19.
For the study, the analysis was conducted on 6,899 self-reported Covid-19 individuals out of 45,096 surveyed adult participants in an ongoing longitudinal study in the UK.
Preliminary findings, part of the UKRI-NIHR-funded multi-institutional study, also found that women were 50% more likely to report high Covid than men.
Similar to the Imperial study, the researchers also reiterated that the risk of chronic Covid symptoms increases with age.
An increased risk is also linked to poor pre-pandemic mental and physical health and is also associated with an earlier diagnosis of asthma, the researchers added.
Dr Claire Steves of King’s College London, the paper’s senior author, said: “Knowing what factors increase the risk of high Covid is an important first step in understanding what is best prevented and treated. this condition. “