The Department of Health holds no data on long COVID in NHS staff and has no intention of collating this data

Dr Minh Alexander retired consultant psychiatrist 12 November 2022

The UK is not good to its public servants.

ONS has just compiled basic data on armed forces veterans for the first time. It was astonishing that there were previously no such no official figures.

Frontline NHS staff injured by COVID19 whilst trying to keep services afloat despite government mismanagement of the pandemic, have been treated with disdain by the government..

NHS Resolution holds some of the central data on NHS staff long COVID cases, but says the data is not specifically coded to allow a computer search and analysis. See:

Transparency about NHS staff with long COVID injuries and NHS staff personal injury claims for long COVID

I asked the Department of Health and Social Care if it knew of any central data, and whether it held central data on long COVID-affected NHS staff.

The answer was ‘No’ and ‘No’.

Asked whether it intended to collate this data in future, the answer was also ‘No’.

The DHSC suggested I try ONS, but ONS only holds long COVID data by occupational group, and not by employer.

In the midst of an epic NHS workforce shortage, the DHSC knows of no central data about staff who have left the NHS due to long COVID:

“The numbers of NHS staff to date who have left their employment due to long covid

DHSC does not hold this information. Standard publications of information by NHS Digital does not record this level of detail and we are not aware of any specific NHS collections known to DHSC.”

This is the DHSC FOI response:

Department of Health and Social Care FOI response 11 Nov 2022 Long COVID in NHS staff Ref FOI-1422015

The government’s treatment of key workers on the COVID frontlines is beyond words.

Will the unions campaign hard enough to ensure that COVID injured NHS staff are better treated and NHS staff are better protected from transmissible diseases?

It is not only a matter of justice but of public health. Unprotected workers are part of the engine of transmission and infection.

I have sent the DHSC’s FOI response to the COVID public inquiry.

5 thoughts on “The Department of Health holds no data on long COVID in NHS staff and has no intention of collating this data

  1. The unions seem to be aware of the potential problems with this, even if the NHS isn’t. The following is taken from a Unison website.

    Are you experiencing ongoing symptoms of long COVID?
    Some people who have had COVID-19 (or suspect they have had it) are experiencing ‘Long Covid’ – a series of ongoing symptoms including (but not limited to) extreme fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog and/or loss of taste or smell which may come and go. Some people are still experiencing these ongoing symptoms as long as six months or more after contracting COVID-19.

    While ‘Long Covid’ is not yet a formal diagnosis, it is likely that as more research is conducted it could be recognised as a long term health condition and may ultimately qualify as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

    We recommend that employers conduct individual risk assessments with any staff who are experiencing ‘Long Covid’ and to make reasonable adjustments for these staff.

    Read our bargaining guidance to support those with long COVID or post-COVID 19 syndrome.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Dr A.
    As a side issue – but so illuminating! – may I just observe that the NHS has always been a profoundly unhealthy place to work, and for one reason or another, has tended to neglect the well-being of its staff.


  3. I’m disgusted at this. That’s 2 years now since I had covid, which has left me with long covid. I expect to be sacked very soon by NHS. I worked through both pandemics, and now I’m left with a lot of health issues.


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