14 December 2023

RCSLT have published new guidance for long COVID, alongside a patient ‘handbook’ and new factsheets on the key symptoms

Long COVID is defined as the persistence or development of new symptoms three months following an initial infection of COVID-19, persisting for more than two months (WHO, 2022). SLTs provide support to long COVID patients who experience voice, swallowing, communication and upper airway symptoms. 

The new guidance and resources were developed by the RCSLT long COVID working group, which brought together a national group of SLTs to look at the available evidence and clinical experience of SLTs working in the field.  

The guidance provides a framework for understanding, assessing and treating individuals living with communication, swallowing, voice, and upper airway problems post COVID-19. The patient handbook provides practical information that people can use to support self-management and is intended to be used before someone is referred to an SLT. Six new factsheets cover the key symptoms of brain fog, stammering, swallowing, voice, throat changes and reflux and include advice on self-management.  

Amongst the resources there is also a triage document which is designed to support healthcare professionals, GPs and patients. It outlines the symptoms that can be experienced in long COVID and signposts the correct pathway to referral to help reduce the number of people who fall through the gaps. 

You can access the guidance and patient information through the COVID-19 hub on our website. 

As this area of work is still developing, the former long COVID working group are transitioning into the COVID-19 Clinical Excellence Network (CEN). More information will be available in our CEN pages in due course.