Long Covid must be taken seriously, Health Minister says as she announces new funding

The Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS met with clinicians from the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board at the Newport velodrome. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

£5 million has been pledged to tackle long Covid by the Health Minister as she says people suffering from the condition must be taken seriously.

The money will be used to fund a new programme called 'Adferiad' or 'Recover' to expand the provision of diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and care for those suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.

The Adferiad programme, which will be launched later this week to coincide with newguidelines on the treatment of the long-term effects, will be reviewed every six months.

The Welsh Government says it and NHS Wales recognise long Covid as a serious and potentially debilitating condition.

The Health Minister was speaking to staff and clinicians at the Velodrome about rehabilitation for long covid patients Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Eluned Morgan MS has visited the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome ofWales to meet clinicians delivering Covid Rehabilitation andRecovery services, to learn about the challenges they have faced dealing with the long-term effect.

The Health Minister said: “In Wales we are committed to personalised treatment and rehabilitation pathways to meet people’s needs, as we believe this is the most effective way to care for those experiencing the effects of long Covid.

“By investing in the staff, infrastructure, training and tools to deliver these services, we are showing our commitment to improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of those with long COVID.”

The aim of the programme is to minimise the number of referral points forpeople, and to give people access to specialised services where necessaryfollowing a consultation with their GP.

Professor Peter Saul, Joint Chair of Royal College of General Practitioners Cymru Wales said: “The condition has required us all to learn and adapt quickly to support our patients.

“Primary care is at the forefront of long Covid care and this announcement willprovide confidence that we will have the infrastructure, shared knowledge and datafor GPs and their teams across Wales to respond to patients’ needs.”

People do not need to have had a positive test or have been confirmed to have hadCOVID-19 in order to be diagnosed with long Covid.

If people are not already under the care of a health professional they can accesslong Covid, and Covid rehabilitation services via their GP or primary careprofessional.

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