THE NHS has set up special centres for thousands of people suffering with long Covid – as one in five people develop lasting symptoms after contracting the coronavirus.
Assessment centres are now taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing conditions such as anxiety, brain fog, breathlessness, depression, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Patients will need to be referred by their GP who will asses their symptoms so that they can rule out other health conditions before referring patients to the long Covid centres.
There will be a total of 69 centres dotted across the country and NHS England has coughed up £10 million in funding for the network of clinics.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive hailed the move and said the NHS was “taking action” to help those still suffering from ongoing symptoms.
Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in five people with Covid-19 develop longer term symptoms and around 186,000 people suffer from problems for up to 12 weeks.
Some 11.5 per cent were still suffering fatigue after five weeks, 11.4 a cough and 10.1 per cent a headache.
A further 8.2 per cent still had no sense of taste and 7.9 per cent a loss of smell, the Office for National Statistics found.
It is the first time the official body has released data on people suffering long Covid.
The numbers, taken from the ONS national infection survey, do not include people in hospital, care homes or prisons.
Dr Amitava Banerjee, from University College London, said long-Covid is already hitting the quality of life of previously healthy people.
He added: “Knowing the prevalence of long Covid and its risk factors is essential for planning how to prevent and treat it.
“Although post-viral symptoms are common, whether after flu or other coronaviruses, the scale of this pandemic and the potential number of infected people with long Covid is unprecedented, and poses yet another Covid-19-related public health challenge.
“The observed association between multi-organ impairment and being hospitalised with Covid-19 is a cause for concern and definitely warrants more investigation."
The new centres will bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer both physical and psychological assessments.
Ten sites are already running in London, seven in the East, eight in the Midlands and nine in the South East and South West.
There are also nine in the North West and 18 across the North East and Yorkshire.
The NHS states that 12 more sites will launch in January in Cornwall, the East Midlands, the Isle of Wight and Lancashire.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has now also issued guidance at how best to rehabilitate patients with long Covid.
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus.
THE 69 LONG COVID CLINICS IN ENGLAND
Patients suffering with symptoms of long Covid could be referred to the below sites.
- Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust -Berkshire Long Covid Integrated Service
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Virgin Care Services Limited & Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal Surrey County Hospital
- East Surrey and west Sussex- First Community Health & Care
- Community Surrey Health Surrey & Ashford & St Peter's Hospital
- Surrey Downs Health & Care Partnership
- East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
- Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
- East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
- Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Mid and South Essex- Provide Community Interest Company.
- Hertfordshire Community Service Health Care Trust
- Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
- Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust
- Liverpool university Foundation Hospital Trust
- Manchester Foundation Trust (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Wythenshawe Hospital)
- North Care Alliance (Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Royal Oldham Hospital)
- North Manchester General
- Tameside & Glossop Integrated Trust
- Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
- Wrightington Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust
- Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
- Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS foundation Trust
- North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation Trust
- The Newcastle upon Tyne Foundation Hospitals Trust
- Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust
- County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust
- North Tees & Hartlepool Foundation Trust
- South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust
- York Teaching Hospital HS Foundation Trust
- Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust
- North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust
- Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust
- The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
- Barnsley Healthcare Federation
- Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Bradford Teaching hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
- The Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust
- Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
- University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW)
- Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
- Shropshire Community Health Trust
- Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust
- Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
- Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
- Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital
- University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust and Provider Company Ltd arm of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Alliance
- Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire -Wiltshire health and care
- Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire – Sirona care and Health
- Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust
- Gloucestershire health and care foundation Trust
- University College London Hospital Trust (UCLH)
- Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust (Homerton University Hospital)
- Barts Health NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital
- Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (King George Hospital)
- London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (Northwick Park Hospital)
- Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (St Marys Hospital)
- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Trust Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
- Kings Health Partners (Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust) – St Thomas Site
- Kings Health Partners (Kings College Health Foundation Trust) kings College Hospital
- St Georges NHS Trust St Georges Hospital
“Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients access vital rehabilitation, as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long covid and its debilitating symptoms.”
Dr Graham Burns, clinical lead at the long covid centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle highlighted that many people didn’t recover as quickly as they had expected in the first wave.
Dr Burns added: “We had no idea what long Covid was – the world had never seen Covid-19 before. We set up the clinic in Newcastle to support patients, but it has also been invaluable in helping us understand what long Covid is.
“I’m delighted that patients now have places to turn to across the country turn and on a national scale doctors will be able to learn from our collective experience and offer tailored support to patients.”
Source: Read Full Article