NHS to launch 40+ specialist ‘long COVID’ clinics within weeks to rehabilitate long term sufferers
The NHS has confirmed a network of more than 40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics will be launched within weeks to help thousands of patients suffering debilitating effects of the virus months after being infected.
It comes following an announcement by NHS England last month that £10 million would be invested to create the specialist centres for those affected by the long-term impacts of COVID.
The clinics, due to start opening at the end of November, will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms.
The condition, which is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK, can cause continuing fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain.
A study from King’s College London found that older people, women and those with a greater number of different symptoms in the first week of their illness were more likely to develop long COVID with one in 10 still unable to shake off the side effects eight weeks after infection.
More recent evidence is also showing that long COVID can be categorised into four different syndromes: post-intensive care syndrome, post-viral fatigue syndrome, permanent organ damage and long term COVID syndrome.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Long COVID is already having a very serious impact on many people’s lives and could well go on to affect hundreds of thousands.
“That is why, while treating rising numbers of patients who are sick with the virus and many more who do not have it, the NHS is taking action to address those suffering ongoing health issues.”
Clinics will be available to patients who have been hospitalised, officially diagnosed after a test or reasonably believe they had COVID-19.
10 sites have been earmarked for the Midlands, seven in the North East, six in the East of England, South West and South East respectively, five in London and three in the North West.
Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professionals, allowing doctors an opportunity to rule out any other possible underlying causes for symptoms, such as suspected stroke, lung cancers or respiratory conditions.
“These pioneering ‘long COVID’ clinics will help address the very real problems being faced by patients today while the taskforce will help the NHS develop a greater understanding of the lasting effects of coronavirus,” added Sir Simon.
The NHS has also launched a new taskforce, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians, to help manage the NHS approach to ‘long COVID’ and produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals to develop a wider understanding of the condition.https://thiis.co.uk/nhs-to-launch-40-specialist-long-covid-clinics-within-weeks-to-rehabilitate-long-term-sufferers/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NHS-STP-CCG-change.jpg?fit=900%2C554&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NHS-STP-CCG-change.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Coronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsNewsroomNHSSector NewsCOVID-19,GP referral,healthcare professional,Kings College,Long COVID,NHS,NHS England,Sir Simon Stevens,TaskforceThe NHS has confirmed a network of more than 40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics will be launched within weeks to help thousands of patients suffering debilitating effects of the virus months after being infected.It comes following an announcement by NHS England last month that £10 million would be invested...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine