STIMULATE-ICP: Understanding long COVID to improve diagnosis, treatment and care


As countries around the world struggle to cope and recover from successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major new research consortium will inform medium- and longer-term policy and health system responses.

The consortium is made up of more than 30 researchers, health professionals, patients and industry partners from over 30 organisations working together under the banner of STIMULATE-ICP (Symptoms, Trajectory, Inequalities and Management: Understanding Long-COVID to Address and Transform Existing Integrated Care Pathways).

The overall programme aims to work out what long COVID is, how to diagnose it and how to manage it. The team will interview patients and health professionals and analyse data from NHS records,to inform understanding of patterns of long COVID and the outcomes of current clinical practice. Researchers will work alongside patients to improve access to care and support, and to address care inequalities.

The team will run trials with over 4,500 people with long-COVID. Individuals will be randomly assigned to usual care or a new pathway, which includes enhanced rehabilitation using the ‘Living with COVID Recovery’ digital platform. Another trial will test the effect of drugs, such as aspirin and colchicine, on patient outcomes after three months treatment.

It is hoped that the programme will deliver knowledge to clinicians and scientists, evidence to policymakers and improved care to patients, while collecting real-world data at scale.

Find out more about the STIMULATE-ICP project and how to get involved

Partners & Collaborators

University College London (UCL)

University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)

University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)


UK Doctors #Longcovid

Royal College of General Practitioners

University of Liverpool

Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust


Living With

University of Hull

Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust

University of York

University of Leicester

University of Exeter

University of Southampton

University of Sussex

Alliance Medical

GE Healthcare


Francis Crick Institute

British Heart Foundation (BHF) 

BHF Data Science Centre

Health Data Research UK

Office of National Statistics

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust

NIHR ARC North Thames

NIHR ARC South West Peninsula

NIHR ARC East Midlands

NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber

NIHR Clinical Research Network support (CRN)

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