3.9 Referrals

3.9 Refer people with ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 or suspected post‑COVID‑19 syndrome urgently for psychiatric assessment if they have severe psychiatric symptoms or are displaying high risk of self‑harm or suicide.

3.10 Follow relevant national or local guidelines on referral for people who have anxiety and mood disorders or other psychiatric symptoms. Consider referral:

  • for psychological therapies if they have common mental health symptoms, such as symptoms of mild anxiety and mild depression or
  • to a liaison psychiatry service if they have more complex needs (especially if they have a complex physical and mental health presentation).

3.11 After ruling out acute or life-threatening complications and alternative diagnoses, consider referring people to an appropriate service, such as an integrated multidisciplinary assessment service, any time from 4 weeks after the start of acute COVID‑19.

  • Many people experience a spontaneous improvement in symptoms between 4 and 12 weeks after the start of acute COVID‑19 and should be offered self-management support and monitoring during this time, with consideration of onward referral to further services if they do not improve.
  • People with concerning symptoms during this time may need referral for assessment by acute medical services.

3.12 Do not exclude people from referral to an integrated multidisciplinary assessment service or for further investigations or specialist input based on the absence of a positive SARS‑CoV‑2 test (PCR, antigen or antibody) as long as the case definition criteria are met.

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