NHS to offer ‘long covid’ sufferers help at specialist centres

NHS England has announced new support for people suffering with ‘covid long’, by providing £10 million in investment to fund recovery clinics.

Current estimates suggest 10% of covid patients suffer covid long symptoms for more than three months.

The funding comes as one of a few measures to support covid long patients. One measure, the ‘Your Covid Recovery‘ online rehab service has been used by over 100,000 people since it launched in July. The service gives people general information and advice on living with long Covid.

The next phase of the digital platform is being developed this Autumn by the University of Leicester that will see people able to access a tailored rehabilitation plan. This will enable patients to set goals for their mental and physical health, provide peer to peer support through social community forums, offer an ‘ask the expert’ facility for patients to contact their local rehab service, and allow patients to be monitored by their local rehab teams to ensure that they are on track with their care.

The post-covid services include:
– A physical assessment, which will include diagnostic testing, to identify any potential chronic health issues.
– A cognitive assessment, to assess any potential memory, attention, and concentration problems.
– A psychological assessment, to see if someone is suffering potentially from depression, anxiety, PTSD, or another mental health condition.

Patients could also then be referred from designated clinics into specialist lung disease services, sleep clinics, cardiac services, rehabilitation services, or signposted into IAPT and other mental health services.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “While this is still a relatively new virus, we are learning more about covid with every passing week. It is now clear that long covid can have a major impact on the lives of a significant minority of patients weeks or months after they have contracted the virus. So just as the NHS quickly put in place specialist hospital care for acutely ill Covid patients at the start of the pandemic, now we must respond sensitively and effectively to these new patient needs.”