Bishop of Bristol asks about those suffering long-term effects of COVID-19

On 3rd September 2020 a Government statement on COVID-19 was repeated in the House of Lords. The Bishop of Bristol, Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, asked a question about treatment of those with long-term effects:

The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, North Bristol NHS Trust has recently reported on an audit of 110 patients discharged after being severely ill with Covid-19. Of these, 75% were still experiencing serious symptoms three months later. This is just part of the mounting evidence of the long-term effects of Covid-19 even on those with mild infection in the acute phase. What steps are the Government taking to raise public awareness of so-called long Covid and to invest in the care of those who are now chronically ill?

Lord Bethell (Con): The right reverend Prelate is entirely right to raise this point; it is emerging as a massive concern. The idea that Covid will somehow pass through Britain and leave people untouched, a bit like simple winter flu, is beginning to prove worryingly untrue. Her anecdote from Bristol is completely consistent with what we are seeing across the piece. In particular, those who have had acute infection but also, I fear, some who have had relatively asymptomatic or low-symptom Covid have found in later weeks and months symptoms of fatigue, arrythmia, renal impact, scarring on the lungs and memory loss. These are extremely worrying symptoms. Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, is running an operation to understand what the right reverend Prelate rightly calls long Covid; we are using big data to analyse the scans we have collected from acute patients and to understand the impact of asymptomatic infection. This is an extremely worrying manifestation of Covid, one that we are acutely aware of, and we are investigating very urgently.

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