COVID-19 / Coronavirus info

Last updated 14/4/21

ARMA is working to support our members to share information and respond effectively to the coronavirus outbreak. Patient organisations are working to ensure people have the advice they need related to their condition or medication. Our professional members are working to ensure healthcare professionals have access to the information they need about the virus and also how to continue to provide healthcare support in the current situation.

ARMA is signposting the most relevant information we can find and will 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/

Information on vaccination

Principles for COVID-19 Vaccination in Musculoskeletal and Rheumatology for Clinicians

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

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

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 of phase 2 of vaccination campaign (13 April)

Letter to NHS system including people aged under 50, vaccine availability and confirmation that from 19 April healthcare workers will again be able to book using the national website.

JCVI statement

Extension of vaccination to those living with people who are immunocompromised (31/3/21)

Letter to the NHS system

Operational guide

Letter to secondary care

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

NHS response to COVID-19: Transition to NHS level 3 incident (letter dated 25 march 2021)

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/nhs-response-to-covid-19-transition-to-nhs-level-3-incident/

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

Re-starting non-urgent trauma and orthopaedic care guidance from British Orthopaedic Association

https://www.boa.ac.uk/resources/boa-guidance-for-restart—summary—final-pdf.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)

There is different advice for those people considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (previously shielding).

Guidance letters have been sent to GPs and Acute Trusts updating on the guidance and identifying actions. (2/11/20)

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-and-updates-for-gps-at-risk-patients/

Identifying high risk patients who should be shielding – The information in relation to rheumatology is on the BSR website.

https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/News-Policy/Details/Action-needed-coronavirus-identifying-high-risk-patients

COVID-19 – ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people:
https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/covid-19-shielding-guidance-children-young-people

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 (updated 18 March):
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

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 21 January 2021

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

Guidance on Vitamin D supplements for people getting out less due to shielding, isolating or lockdown.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

Information for patients

A risk calculator for rheumatology patients to assess their risk and whether you should be isolating or shielding.
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/about-us/news/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-advice-our-community/

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

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 18 March 2021).

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/

Shielding advice (updated 8 October)

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-shielding

Information for Northern Ireland

Shielding advice

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