The government has revealed it will be monitoring and publishing data on the number of long Covid cases presenting to the NHS including waiting times and treatment pathways.
The full impact of long Covid is not fully known at present but it is likely to reach into the millions.
Research published last month by Imperial College London put the number of victims at almost two million, double the Office for National Statistics’ most recent estimate.
Pressed on the issue of collecting and reporting long Covid data by the Bishop of London, parliamentary under-secretary for health and social care Lord Bethell confirmed the department for Health and Social Care would be publishing data from the autumn.
“We are developing our understanding of long Covid-19, including collecting the numbers of people affected and methods of reporting,” he said in a written answer.
“Currently, the Office for National Statistics collects and publishes data on prevalence of ongoing symptoms following Covid-19 infection in the United Kingdom.
“From September 2021 activity data on referral, assessments and waiting times for post-Covid-19 assessment clinics and the patient journey, including the use of Your Covid Recovery, will be published on a monthly basis.”
Trade unions are backing calls for long Covid to be classed as a disability to stop sufferers being discriminated against due to the condition.
While insurers and workplace wellbeing providers have urged advisers to prepare employers to handle staff with the condition carefully and to seek support.
Primis advice network has also called on protection providers to form a collective industry approach to long Covid.