MDUK response to NICE guidance on critical care for patients with COVID-19

Muscular Dystrophy UK has released the following statement in response to the latest NICE guidance on critical care for patients with COVID-19. The guidance can be read in full here.

While we recognise the NHS is under extreme pressure during these unprecedented times, we have serious concerns about the new NICE guidelines on critical care for patients with confirmed COVID-19. The new guidelines state that all patients with confirmed COVID-19 will be assessed on the basis of ‘frailty’ (as classified by the Clinical Frailty Score) when healthcare professionals are making decisions about whether to admit a patient. Our fear is that such guidance could be used to deny some people with a muscle-wasting condition and other disabled people treatment.


It is inappropriate to judge an individual’s quality of life based purely on what they can physically do. This is already an extremely worrying time for people. Greater clarity is urgently required from NICE to ensure that disabled people are not denied the care they require.

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Notes to editors

About muscle-wasting conditions

  • More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have a muscle-wasting condition.
  • Muscle-wasting conditions may be inherited or strike out of the blue. These conditions cause muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasingly severe disability. Some affect the heart and muscles vital for breathing, cutting lives short.

Muscular Dystrophy UK

  • Muscular Dystrophy UK is the charity for 70,000 children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions. We provide vital information, advice and support to help people live as independently as possible. We accelerate progress in research and drive the campaign for access to emerging treatments.
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