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Long-COVID: nurses struggling to recover from coronavirus need support of employers

Call for research into COVID-19’s long-lasting effects among nursing staff 
Woman sits slumped in bed, head in hands. Fatigue is among the symptoms of long-COVID

Call for research into COVID-19s long-lasting effects among nursing staff, and its implications for public health

The potential effect of long-COVID on the nursing workforce needs to be studied, the RCN said.

The term long-COVID has been coined to describe the long-lasting effects reported by some people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Research into long-COVID is needed

Sue Masters said nurses need their employers support if they are experiencing long-COVID

RCN director of nursing, policy and public affairs, Susan Masters, is calling for more research into the phenomenon, to understand its implications for nursing staff and public health.

Call for research into COVID-19’s long-lasting effects among nursing staff, and its implications for public health


In many cases, debilitating symptoms linger long after people have recovered from
COVID-19  Picture: iStock

The potential effect of long-COVID on the nursing workforce needs to be studied, the RCN said.

The term long-COVID has been coined to describe the long-lasting effects reported by some people who have recovered from COVID-19. 

Research into long-COVID is needed


Sue Masters said nurses need their employers’
support if they are experiencing long-COVID

RCN director of nursing, policy and public affairs, Susan Masters, is calling for more research into the phenomenon, to understand its implications for nursing staff and public health.

In a blog she wrote: 'The RCN is becoming increasingly concerned at the anecdotal reports of the impact that long-COVID is having on the nursing workforce, and the wider impact on the public and patients. 

'Whilst there is, as yet, limited empirical research on the issue, we are aware that it is now being actively discussed within the scientific and research community.'

How employers can help nursing staff struggling to recover fully from COVID-19

She set out what the college expects employers to do to support staff, including:

  • Continuing to pay staff sick pay, including where staff experience relapses in their condition and repeated periods of absence.
  • COVID-19-related absences not be used to trigger management of sickness absence procedures.

The RCN wants arrangements to be put in place to support staff returning from COVID-19-related sickness during phased return to work. This support should include risk assessment and consideration of the potential for home working.

The NHS staff Council has recently agreed joint guidance on phased return with NHS Employers.


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