Read more on long Covid

Since the outset of the pandemic the UK government has focused solely on fatal cases of Covid-19 or those that have required hospitalisation. However, since the first All-Party Group on Coronavirus hearing on long Covid in August 2020, it has been clear that many more lives have been altered by the long term damaging effects of Covid-19.

Conservative estimates suggest around 10% of those infected with Covid-19 will develop long Covid. Given that the UK has one of the highest rates of Covid infection in the world, which continues to rise, hundreds of thousands of individuals and families will continue to live with the damaging effects of long Covid for months or even years to come.

Many of those who have developed long Covid contracted the virus while working to protect others during this pandemic. This is why we are calling on the UK government to recognise long Covid as an occupational disease and set up a long Covid compensation scheme for frontline, health and social care, and key workers.

This scheme should go beyond existing sick pay schemes and should be specific to those living with long Covid. Such a scheme should be comparable to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and should recognise the relapsing nature of long Covid.

By securing a commitment to a compensation scheme for these sectors will open the door to extending this policy to support all those living with long Covid.

We are already committed to pursuing that campaign.

Our key asks: 

1. The UK government should launch a national registry to count and publish the number of people living with long Covid in the UK .  The UK government should release the figure of people living with long Covid in the same way as is done with positive cases, hospital admissions and deaths due to Covid-19. Long Covid patient registers must be established based on universal case definitions that ensure no widening of inequalities based on variation in clinical practice.

2. The UK government should recognise long Covid as an occupational disease and set up a long Covid compensation scheme for frontline, health and social care, and key workers. This scheme should go beyond existing sick pay schemes  and should be specific to those living with long Covid.  Such a scheme should be comparable to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)  and should recognise the relapsing nature of long Covid.

3. The UK government’s vaccination roll-out programme should take long Covid into account.  It should consider the risk of developing long Covid in groups that are not classed as clinically vulnerable.

4. The UK government should rapidly increase research funding for the study of the long-term effects of Covid-19 on people’s health, extending to include those who were not hospitalised or tested .

5. The UK government should develop guidelines for employers similar to NICE and SIGN guidelines.

You can sign the petition to make long Covid an occupational disease here.

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