COVID-19 / Coronavirus info

Last updated 8/11/22

This page lists the most relevant information we can find on COVID-19 relevant to people with MSK conditions. We update this page as new information becomes available. It includes information for professionals, patients, parents and guidance for Wales and Scotland.

Six key resources for MSK.

Key resources

Latest advice for England.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Good communication with patients whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/good-communication-with-patients/

Guidance on those eligible for free lateral flow testing in England after 1 April

Government announcement 

Covid-19 community based treatments

Access community-based treatments for coronavirus (COVID-19) updated 6 September 2022

How to access treatments and prescription charges

COVID-19 Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel will determine which at-risk patient cohorts could be eligible for COVID-19 therapies. Information on membership, terms of reference and how to submit.

COVID-19 Therapeutics Clinical Review Panel

First report of the panel on Defining the highest-risk clinical subgroups upon community infection with SARS-CoV-2 when considering the use of neutralising monoclonal antibodies (nMABs) and antiviral drugs. These recommendations will be implemented from 13 June. 

COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk

Information about neutralising monoclonal antibodies or antivirals for non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Available for those at the highest risk from COVID-19. From 10/2/22 lateral flow test positive is sufficient. No PCR required.

Interim clinical commissioning policy (Scroll down for most recent version – effective from 13 June.)

Letter to patients about the new treatments

Information for patients

Community based treatments for those at highest risk and ‘PANORAMIC’ national study to review the effectiveness of antivirals in a wider at risk patient cohort.

Letter to General Practice on deployment

The MELODY study is recruiting people who are immunosuppressed to measure their COVID-19 antibody response following at least 3 vaccinations.

Study website

Information on vaccination

Principles for COVID-19 Vaccination in Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology for Clinicians (Version 12, 12 September 2022)

http://arma.uk.net/covid-19-vaccination-and-msk/

JCVI advice for vaccinating 5 to 11-year-olds (updated 16/2/22)

JCVI advice on third primary dose vaccination for severely immunosuppressed (1/9/21) 

JCVI advice

NHS Implementation Letter

Letter to GP practices and PCNs (30 September)

Difference between boosters and third primary doses

Flowchart

NHS information for the public on vaccination:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/

Latest Information and Advice from UK Paediatric Rheumatologists and Ophthalmologists for families re Covid 19 Vaccine (04/08/21)

The latest guidance from Paediatric Rheumatology and Ophthalmology

BSR information on vaccination:
https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/practice-quality/covid-19-guidance

General Chiropractic Council statement on the vaccine:
https://www.gcc-uk.org/gcc-news/news/entry/Covidvaccineandprofessionalism

Information for people with MSK conditions

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
https://nras.org.uk/resource/frequently-asked-questions-about-coronavirus-covid-19/

Versus Arthritis
https://www.versusarthritis.org/covid-19-updates/vaccines-for-covid-19-your-questions-answered/

Lupus UK
https://www.lupusuk.org.uk/covid19-vaccination/

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK
https://www.sruk.co.uk/find-support/coronavirus/your-questions-covid-19-vaccine/

Information for professionals

NHS response to COVID-19

National call: Next steps for the NHS COVID-19 vaccine deployment (13/12/21)

Letter setting out the immediate next steps for deployment

Preparing the NHS for the potential impact of the Omicron variant and other winter pressures (13/12/21)

Community services prioritisation framework to aid local decision making about service and staff prioritisation until 1 March 2022. (11/01/2022)

Long COVID NHS plan for 2021/22

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/long-covid-the-nhs-plan-for-2021-22/

NHSE Speciality guides including:

Most specialty guides for MSK are no longer published on the NHSE website. 

COVID-19 rapid guideline: children and young people who are immunocompromised

COVID-19 rapid guideline: rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders

COVID-19 rapid guideline: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/conditions-and-diseases/respiratory-conditions/covid19/products?ProductType=Guidance&Status=Published

Other orthopaedics

Clinical Validation of Surgical Waiting Lists: framework and support tools

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/validating-waiting-lists-framework/

NICE Covid-19 rapid guidance: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services (26/7/20)

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng179

British Orthopaedic Association and Specialist Society Position paper on caring for patients awaiting surgery

https://www.boa.ac.uk/resources/boa-and-specialist-society-position-paper-on-caring-for-patients-awaiting-surgery.html

Other rheumatology

Management of patients with musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions who: are on corticosteroids; require initiation of oral/IV corticosteroids; require a corticosteroid injection (20/11/20)

https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/COVID-19/MSK_rheumatology_corticosteroid_guidance.pdf

Osteoporosis

  • Denosumab (Prolia) treatment and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Toolkit: DXA restoration of service
  • Guidance: Secondary fracture prevention for inpatients during COVID-19 pandemic
  • All on the Royal Osteoporosis Society Covid-19 Hub

https://theros.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/covid-19-hub/

Shielding (England)

Announcement about the end of the shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable) list in England (15/09/21)

Press release

Community MSK services

Restoration of community health services updated 18 September 2020 and COVID-19 restoration of community health services for children and young
people: second phase of NHS response updated 31 July 2020.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/covid-19-prioritisation-within-community-health-services-with-annex_19-march-2020/

The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2020/05/31/bjsports-2020-102596.full

Guidance from the CSP on implementing remote consultations

https://www.csp.org.uk/publications/covid-19-guide-rapid-implementation-remote-consultations

Paediatrics

COVID-19 – talking to children and families about returning to school: guiding principles

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-talking-children-families-about-returning-school-guiding-principles

Other

Guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19 updated 24/11/21

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

Information for patients

A risk calculator for rheumatology patients to assess their risk and whether you should be taking extra care with COVID precautions.
https://www.versusarthritis.org/rheumatology-patients-and-covid-19-learn-more-about-the-risk-levels/

FAQs for patients on resuming surgical services
https://www.boa.ac.uk/resources/coronavirus-boa-faqs-for-patients.html

Many patient organisations have helplines and web-based information.

Arthritis Action: https://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/covid-19-advice/

Fibromyalgia UK: http://www.fmauk.org/coronavirus

Hypermobility Syndromes Association: https://www.hypermobility.org/news/covid19-resources

Lupus UK: https://www.lupusuk.org.uk/coronavirus/

National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS): https://nass.co.uk/managing-my-as/covid19-coronavirus/

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS): https://www.nras.org.uk/coronavirus (info page);
and Here For You, a new service that allows you to arrange a callback with someone with RA who understands you: https://www.nras.org.uk/here-for-you

Psoriasis Association: https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/psoriasis-and-treatments/covid-19-information

Royal Osteoporosis Society: https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/coronavirus-and-osteoporosis

Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK (SRUK): https://www.sruk.co.uk/find-support/coronavirus/

Versus Arthritis: https://www.versusarthritis.org/news/2020/march/coronavirus-covid-19-what-is-it-and-where-to-go-for-information/

Information for patients and parents of children and young people

From SPARN (Scottish Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Network)

https://www.sparn.scot.nhs.uk/

CCCA Kids with Arthritis incorporating JIA Matters facebook group

https://www.facebook.com/CCAAorguk/

Great Ormond Street Hospital advice for parents of vulnerable children and young people – useful practical advice on shielding for a child.

https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-information-hub/coronavirus-covid-19-and-vulnerable-children

Resources for young people – specifically about shielding and social distancing and developed with input of children/young people.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-on-protecting-people-most-likely-to-get-unwell-from-coronavirus-shielding-young-peoples-version

Information for Wales

Guidance for professionals (nothing MSK specific)

https://gov.wales/health-professionals-coronavirus

Children and young people to be removed from shielding list (25/08/21)

https://gov.wales/children-and-young-people-be-removed-shielding-list?fbclid=IwAR1GQzTweIUOIDXnmMAQWGjc78Dkz1iSjtW1BVYP-rFxqL9mF8fDfwh2duI

COVID-19 High risk shielded patient list identification methodology (note different methodology for rheumatology from England and guidance below contains more up to date list)

https://nwis.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-content/coronavirus-documents/covid-19-high-risk-shielded-patient-list-identification-methodology/

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19). (updated 11 June 2021). Shielding in Wales is paused. 

https://gov.wales/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-people-defined-on-medical-grounds-as-extremely-vulnerable-from-coronavirus-covid-19-html

https://gov.wales/get-coronavirus-support-extremely-vulnerable-person – contact your local authority

Information for Scotland

Guidance for healthcare professionals

https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/

Information for people at highest risk (updated 23/12/21)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people at highest risk

Information for Northern Ireland

Shielding advice

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-and-vulnerable-people