Patients suffering symptoms of Long Covid, weeks after the initial infection with coronavirus, will soon be able to access treatment at three new centres earmarked for the region.
The clinics, which are due to start opening in November, will be based within three healthcare partnerships; Humber Coast and Vale STP; South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw STP; and West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS. They are part of a £10m investment by the NHS to create a network of 40 specialist centres across the country, bringing together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff.
The condition, which is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK, can cause continuing fatigue, brain fog’, breathlessness and pain. Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professional, allowing doctors an opportunity to rule out any other possible underlying causes for symptoms, such as suspected stroke, lung cancers or respiratory conditions.
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.
The NHS has also launched a new task force, 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.
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.