Online resources for Long Covid patients and their support network
Recent analysis by the Office of National Statistics suggests that one in ten people who test positive for Covid-19 suffer symptoms for longer than three months.
Long Covid, or post-Covid-19 syndrome as it is otherwise known, presents as a range of different symptoms suffered by people months after initial infection.
As the pandemic has progressed, recognition and awareness of Long Covid has increased, driven in part by the relentless campaigning by Long Covid patients to put the condition firmly on the government’s agenda for scientific research and medical attention.
The NHS launched a new taskforce involving patients, charities, researchers and clinicians, to help manage the NHS approach to long Covid, produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals to develop a wider understanding of the condition.
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 the rising number 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”.
NHS England’s Long Covid package includes their online resource and support hub, “Your Covid Recovery”. Launched in July 2020, the website has extensive resources for those with Long Covid, as well as their family and friends, on how to self-manage symptoms and when to seek further support.
Roll-out of the second phase of the project has begun, in the form of an on-demand service, in which patients will be offered a consultation with nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists, followed by a bespoke package of aftercare. Service delivery will be enabled via more than 70 Long Covid clinics (not all of which are yet open).
Whilst great strides have been made in supporting Long Covid sufferers, there is still a long way to go in making this support accessible to all, partly because symptoms are so varied and partly because demand is creating lengthy waiting lists. In the meantime, employers can play their part in supporting workers who are suffering from the lingering effects of Covid by carrying out health surveillance assessments and providing individual action plans to support their people to cope with the impact of their symptoms.