People on the island dealing with the effects of Long COVID are being supported by a new service launched by the NHS. This vital service launched following emerging evidence that some people who contract Covid-19 are left with longer-term effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. The symptoms are wide-ranging and fluctuating and can include pain, a persistent high temperature, breathlessness, chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety and stress. However, many patients recover with support, rest, symptomatic treatment, and with a gradual increase in physical activity.
The Long COVID service is available by GP referral only and appointments will be available both face-to-face and virtually. People will be able to access existing services that will aid their recovery.
When referred into the Long COVID service, patients will undergo a number of physical and psychological assessments. Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) will then work alongside other health teams to develop a support plan that will help improve their health outcomes and quality of life.
Patients will also have access to the ‘living with covid’ app, offering patients education, support and encouragement while they recover at home.
Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“We are delighted to be working with our NHS colleagues to deliver this service and support those who are experiencing the symptoms of Long COVID. While we have learned lots about Covid-19, we are still yet to learn more about its long-term effects that we know can be debilitating, even for young, fit people, or those who did not go to hospital. This new service not only gives us an opportunity to support those in need, but will also help us learn out more about Long COVID and find new ways to help people affected by it. It also demonstrates that the NHS is not forgetting about patients who are dealing with the longer-term effects of the virus. We are here to support you.”
The service is part of a £10m initiative by NHS England who is funding 69 services across the country.
You can find more information about Long COVID on the NHS website.
Maggie Oldham, Chief Executive at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:
“We are learning about the impact of the virus all the time but it is clear that many people are suffering long term effects and need our support. This new service will make sure people get the help they need and will link closely to well-established health services to meet the needs of individual patients. We are totally committed to supporting our community through the pandemic and this service is another important step in our recovery from Covid-19. I want to say thank you to all the teams involved in helping set up this service.”
Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Long COVID are advised to visit https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ for more information. If symptoms persist, you should contact your GP.