Important information about treatments for Covid
Access to treatment will change from 27th June 2023.
These treatments can reduce the chance of patients getting seriously ill from Covid and need to be given quickly after symptoms first start. Most of these treatments are recommended to be taken within 5 days of onset of symptoms.
Experiencing Covid from Tuesday 27 June 2023:
Patients should contact their GP practice, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible after they test positive so that the relevant healthcare professional can consider referral for an assessment for treatment.
Patients will no longer be automatically contacted by the NHS about treatments after reporting a positive Covid test result.
Please see Q&A document under ‘additional information’ for further detail.
Who is eligible for treatment?
Patients who are considered to be at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19 as defined in the independent advisory group report commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care and should have already received a letter from NHS England (please see a copy of this letter under ‘additional information’).
Such patients should:
1. Keep lateral flow tests at home
Patients should keep lateral flow tests at home but only use them if they get symptoms. Eligible patients can order them free of charge from:
Gov - Order Coronavirus Rapid Lateral Flow Tests or by calling 119.
From 1 October 2023, the way that tests are accessed may change. Please check NHS Covid Treatments for more information closer to the time.
Tests purchased from a pharmacy or shop can now also be used.
2. Take a test if you have Covid symptoms
If patients have Covid symptoms, they should take a test immediately, even if symptoms are mild.
If the test is negative but symptoms continue, then patients should take another test on each of the next two days (three tests in total over three days).
Patients should report their test result where possible at:
Gov - Report Covid19 Result or by calling 119, using their NHS number and postcode. This will ensure that the test result is visible to the NHS, to support referral and assessment.
The result of a test purchased from a pharmacy or shop cannot be reported, but this will not affect access to an assessment for treatment.
3. Contact the NHS as soon as possible if the test is positive
From 27 June, if patients test positive, they should contact their GP practice, NHS 111 or hospital specialist (if they have one) as soon as possible so that the healthcare professional can consider referral for an assessment for treatment.
- More information is available NHS Covid Treatments.
- Copy of NHS E patient letter
- Q&A for patient enquiries