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Lords to quiz experts on COVID-19 long-term health

Monday 14 September 2020

On Tuesday, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will question leading experts on the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 and what healthcare services could be required.

The session will follow on from the 15 June session, when the Committee heard how the virus harms the body. In this session, the Committee will hear about the impacts that can last after a patient has overcome the illness and seek to identify areas of research and potential future healthcare services for those who suffer long-term impacts.

The first panel of experts will focus on the longer-term effects of the illness on the lungs and cardiovascular system, the two systems that are most commonly affected. This will include a discussion of how the virus can exacerbate (or even trigger) diabetes. The second panel of experts will consider the impacts of the virus on other organs and systems, in particular the kidneys and the central nervous system.

These evidence sessions will be the next in the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the Science of COVID-19.

Summaries from previous evidence sessions

10am

Giving evidence will be:

  • Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, and Associate Medical Director at British Heart Foundation
  • Professor Chris Brightling, NIHR Senior Investigator and Clinical Professor in Respiratory Medicine at University of Leicester
  • Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at University of Leicester

11am

Giving evidence will be:

  • Professor Donal O'Donoghue, Registrar at Royal College of Physicians, Consultant Renal Physician at Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, and Professor of Renal Medicine at University of Manchester
  • Professor Sebastian Brandner, Professor of Neuropathology, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology; Honorary Consultant Neuropathologist, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and Regionally Elected Council member for London region, Royal College of Pathologists
  • Professor Tom Solomon, Chair of Neurology and Director of the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool

Questions will include:

  • How common is it for COVID-19 to cause long-term damage to the lungs and the cardiovascular system, and how well might these systems recover?
  • What are the long-term health implications for people who suffered from COVID-19 with pre-existing diabetes, and what is the latest understanding about COVID-induced diabetes?
  • What is the prevalence of kidney damage due to COVID-19, and by what mechanisms does the illness cause this harm?
  • How does COVID-19 cause neurological issues, for example is it via direct attack, inflammation or a combination of factors?
  • What is being done to find treatments for the longer-term health impacts of COVID-19?
  • Will existing care services be suitable for providing treatment for long-term COVID impacts, or will the NHS need new services for "chronic COVID"?
  • What is the likely scale of the challenges of long-term care? Does the NHS have the necessary capacity and the necessary co-ordination between different parts of service?

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