Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is working with Oxford University Hospitals to provide specialist help to patients suffering from Long Covid following an announcement from NHS England
New research has shown one in five people with coronavirus develop longer term symptoms. Around 186,000 people suffer problems for up to 12 weeks, the Office for National Statistics found.
The Trusts will run an assessment service which will take referrals from hospital consultants and GPs for people experiencing prolonged symptoms such as brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms. The physical clinics will begin in January.
People diagnosed with Long Covid by their GP will be contacted by a healthcare professional following a triage service and be given support on managing their recovery.
The service brings together a multi-professional team of doctors, physiotherapists occupational therapists and psychologists to offer both physical and psychological assessments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation services.
Sara Bolton , Associate Director of Allied Health Professions said: “Oxford Health has been working for some time on helping people suffering from the long-term effects of Covid and we are pleased that NHS England has provided funding for this service across the UK.
“We have been providing support to people suffering from Long Covid for some time and have had good feedback from the people that we have helped.
“Patients can access services if they are referred by a GP or another healthcare professional, so that doctors can first rule out other possible underlying causes for symptoms.”
Respiratory Consultant Emily Fraser, who heads the long COVID service for OUH, said: “Today’s announcement is a positive sign that the NHS is ramping up its efforts to tackle long COVID, by giving patients access to specialist services. COVID-19 is still relatively new and as we learn more about the condition, treatment and tailored support will continue to improve.”
NHS England has provided £10 million for the nationwide network of clinics, which started opening last month. There are now 69 operating across the country with hundreds of patients already getting help.