Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will be available at clinics across England to help people suffering from prolonged COVID-19 symptoms.
Estimates suggest there could be up to 10%, or 60,000, ‘long covid’ sufferers – people who contract COVID-19 and show ongoing symptoms such as breathlessness, chronic fatigues, brain fog, anxiety and stress three months after initial infection. £10 million will be available to kick-start designated ‘long covid’ clinics and for ongoing research into the long-term health impact of COVID-19.
This five-part package will include:
- Developing NHS and NICE guidelines to define and determine the level of support required for both patients and service providers.
- Your Covid Recovery, a personalised online rehab service to help with mental and physical health, provide peer to peer support through social community forums and which offers a number of functionalities through which patients can contact or be monitored by their local clinical care teams.
- Designated ‘long covid’ clinics for one-stop services including physical, cognitive and psychological assessments.
- National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded ‘long covid’ research.
- A new NHS England Long Covid taskforce which will include patients, medical specialists and researchers.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive:
“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.”
For further information, please read the NHS news release.