The Guidelines team has produced the following directory of COVID-19 information and guidance for primary care. This page will be updated as and when relevant guidance/information is made available.
- Guidelines summaries
- Key COVID-19 guidance for primary care
- Information for specific groups
- Further information
Browse our catalogue of COVID-19 guideline summaries.
Key COVID-19 guidance for primary care
The main source of guidance that all healthcare professionals should refer to is the NHS coronavirus guidance for clinicians and managers. The NHS has also produced a standard operating procedure (SOP) for community pharmacists. The NHS has published guidance on general practice in the context of coronavirus.
NICE has developed a series of rapid guidelines on the active management of COVID-19 infection, which can be found here.
PHE has guidance for investigation and initial clinical management of a possible case of coronavirus. PHE has also produced guidance for people advised to self isolate, as well as guidance on new national restrictions. All updates to PHE guidance for COVID-19 are found on the MHRA central alerting system (CAS), which should be regularly checked by practice staff. PHE has also published guidance on infection prevention and control for COVID-19.
Guidance on the COVID-19 vaccination programme, updated on 11 January, can be found here.
The NHS website has all the relevant guidance on assessment, diagnosis, management of suspected and confirmed coronavirus, discharge, isolation, and travel advice for patients.
All practices should ensure coronavirus patient information posters are displayed and visible to patients before entering the practice. Patient information should be displayed at reception, the medicines counter by any patient touch screen booking-in, waiting areas and at patient access points to clinical areas.
Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England, and NHS Improvement have published a standard operating procedure on how to run a safe and effective medicines reuse scheme in a care home or hospice during the coronavirus outbreak.
DHSC has published guidance for local authorities and local decision-makers on containing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks at a local level.
The MHRA has launched a dedicated Yellow Card reporting site for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to report easily:
- suspected side effects associated with any medicine used in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
- incidents involving medical devices used in relation to COVID-19, including adverse incidents with equipment, diagnostic testing kits and software/apps.
On 14 April 2020, NICE published its COVID-19 rapid evidence summary: acute use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for people with or at risk of COVID-19, and NHS England and NHS Improvement released a policy statement on the use of NSAIDs in people with or at risk of COVID-19.
NHS England and NHS Improvement
This online consultation toolkit, developed by NHS England and Improvement, is an interactive document that provides a range of ideas and options for different professionals, including clinicians, at different points in their implementation journey.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance for consulting via video with patients at home, including principles for safely assessing patients using a video consultation.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have also published Enhanced Service Specification: COVID-19 vaccination programme 2020/21.
In December 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement reinstated its guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
NICE has published guidance for managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, often described as ‘long COVID’.
NICE has developed a series of rapid guidelines on the active management of COVID-19 infection:
- Managing the long-term effects of COVID-19
- Vitamin D
- Critical care
- Systemic anticancer treatments
- Renal transplantation
- Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Severe asthma
- Managing suspected or confirmed pneumonia in adults in the community
- Rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders
- Managing symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community
- Community-based care of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Dermatological conditions treated with drugs affecting the immune response
- Cystic fibrosis
- Acute myocardial injury
- Gastrointestinal and liver conditions treated with drugs affecting the immune response
- Antibiotics for pneumonia in adults in hospital
- Children and young people who are immunocompromised
- Acute kidney injury in hospital
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
- Interstitial lung disease
- Reducing the risk of venous thromboembolism in over 16s with COVID-19
NICE has also published a clinical knowledge summary (CKS) on coronavirus, which covers management of suspected coronavirus infection, advice for vulnerable groups, and where reliable clinical information can be found.
Royal College of General Practitioners
The RCGP has published specific guidance for general practice, including out-of-hours
Information for specific groups
The following is a list of links providing additional information for specific groups. This will be updated regularly as new information is published.
The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) has published modifications for allergy services during COVID-19 pandemic, which provides suggestions for changes to service provision.
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers
The Primary Care Cardiovascular Society has developed some specific advice about COVID-19 for patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).
The British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) together with the British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) released a joint statement with regards to treatment with ACEi or ARB in relation to COVID-19.
Care of the elderly
The British Geriatrics Society has compiled a list of current official UK/global advice and publications relating to COVID-19.
There is guidance on practical recommendations for the management of diabetes in patients with COVID-19.
Diabetes UK has produced COVID-19 guidance for people living with diabetes and their families, with emphasis on social distancing measures.
NHS England has produced a page of key information to support the delivery of diabetes care in London.
The Primary Care Diabetes Society has published a COVID-19 fact sheet for healthcare professionals to consider when caring for people with diabetes, including links to guidance and general advice for managing diabetes during intercurrent illness.
Eye, ear, nose, and throat
ENT UK has published information on loss of sense of smell as a marker of COVID-19 infection.
The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) has published specific COVID-19 advice for healthcare professionals in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Musculoskeletal and joints
The Royal Osteoporosis Society has published White paper: Delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond. The paper discusses:
- Our stall for leadership in osteoporosis healthcare
- Issues surrounding osteoporosis in the COVID-19 period
- The importance of taking action to prevent further fractures as we Restore, Rebuild and Reset.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has published COVID-19 guidance for healthcare professionals working in paediatrics and child health, with signposts and links to further information.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has published COVID-19 information for healthcare professionals caring for pregnant women.
RCOG, Royal College of Midwives, RCPCH, PHE, and Health Protection Scotland have published guidance for healthcare professionals on COVID-19 infection in pregnancy.
Asthma UK has published health advice concerning COVID-19 for people with asthma.
The British Thoracic Society (BTS) has published information to support the respiratory community during the COVID-19 outbreak, including community respiratory services, COPD and COVID-19 for HCPs, advice for HCPs treating patients with asthma, and obstructive sleep apnoea.
The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) has published answers to frequently asked questions on the management of asthma during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recognises that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are among the worst affected by COVID-19, and is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to try to minimise the impact of the infection. GOLD has produced a brief list of guidance for patients with COPD.
British HIV Association (BHIVA) has produced guidance for the management of adults with HIV on antiretroviral treatment (ART) during the coronavirus pandemic.
Terrence Higgins Trust has produced information on COVID-19, guidance for people living with HIV, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Skin and wound care
International Psoriasis Council (IPC) has published a statement on the COVID-19 outbreak.
British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has published a statement on dry skin and frequent handwashing to reduce COVID-19 risk.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has published information on the provision of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) during the COVID-19 outbreak.
FSRH has produced a guide for patients to help them stay informed about contraception and abortion services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further FSRH guidance on COVID-19:
- Guidance outlining essential services that must remain available to women during and past the pandemic, as well as recommendations on delivering services and prioritising patients
- Clinical advice to support provision of effective contraception during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Recommendation on extended use of the etonogestrel implant and 52 mg levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system during COVID restrictions.
The Primary Care Women’s Health Forum (PCWHF) has produced guidance on managing contraceptive provision without face-to-face consultations to help primary care clinicians support women with their contraceptive needs during the coronavirus pandemic
The PCWHF has also published guidance on managing remote consultations on abnormal uterine bleeding during the coronavirus pandemic, including advice on heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB), intermenstrual bleeding (IMB), post-menopausal bleeding (PMB) (occurring in women not using HRT), post-coital bleeding (PCB), and unscheduled bleeding on HRT
The PCWHF has published postnatal maternal and infant care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a guide for general practice
Furthermore, the PCWHF has published a PCS COVID-19 Community Contraception Guide, covering oral contraception: repeat or new starter, and long acting reversible contraception: Depo DMPA, implant, copper IUD, and IUS; and guidance on managing HRT provision without face-to-face consultations during COVID-19 healthcare restrictions.
Further PCWHF guidance links:
- RCOG and Specialist Societies guidance for gynaecological services during COVID-19
- BSUG guidance on management of Urogynaecological Conditions and Vaginal Pessary use during Covid 19 Pandemic
- Royal College of Psychiatrists advice on COVID-19
- Framework for restoration of menopause services in response to COVID-19
- Protocol for LARC fittings in primary care during COVID-19 restriction easing.
NHS England and NHS Improvement has worked with PHE to develop guidance on smear taking during COVID-19.
RCOG has published guidance for COVID-19 infection and abortion care, as well as Q&A relating to this guidance.
On 19 June, RCOG updated guidance for healthcare professionals on coronavirus infection in pregnancy.
RCOG, British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy (BSGE) and British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS) have published joint guidance for the management of abnormal uterine bleeding in the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 testing is available for essential workers who are self-isolating:
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has published a joint statement from chief executives of statutory regulators of health and care professionals.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has produced guidance on ethical, professional decision-making in the COVID-19 pandemic.