Support for patients with Post Covid-19 syndrome 'Long Covid'

Post COVID symptoms are having a serious impact on many people’s lives. Post COVID symptoms/ ‘Long-COVID’ is shorthand for a range of conditions, often overlapping, with patients suffering effects of the virus months after being infected.

Many people with the symptoms can experience generalised pain, fatigue, persisting high temperature, changes in their mental health and can find themselves suffering from breathlessness. Common post COVID symptoms include:

Respiratory symptoms

  • Breathlessness
  • Cough

Cardiovascular symptoms (heart and circulation)

  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations

General symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain

Neurological symptoms

  • Cognitive impairment (‘brain fog’, loss of concentration or memory issues)
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Peripheral neuropathy symptoms (pins and needles and numbness)
  • Dizziness
  • Delirium (in older people)

Effects on your mind (Effects On Your Mind | Your COVID Recovery)

  • Fear and anxiety
  • Memory and concentration
  • “Low mood”

While we have learned lots about Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic and new treatments are available, every experience is unique. Many people will recover fully (which can take weeks to a few months). However, for those experiencing ongoing symptoms, this can be limiting and may affect their ability to complete everyday activities, even for young, fit people, or those who did not go to hospital when they had Covid-19 symptoms initially.

Research has shown one in five people with coronavirus in the UK develop longer-term symptoms.

While treating the high numbers of patients who are unwell with the virus and many more who do not have it, the NHS is taking action to support those suffering ongoing health issues.

That is why the NHS in Trafford has established Post-Covid Assessment Services to give patients access to multi-professional advice, so that they are put onto the right clinical pathway to treat their symptoms, including breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.

The NHS Your COVID Recovery platform provides lots of advice to support your recovery, including wellbeing advice on eating well, sleeping well and getting moving again. There is also support for those with other health conditions, or who may have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Managing The Effects | Your COVID Recovery – covers effects on the body, effects on the mind and other conditions (cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes)

Your Wellbeing | Your COVID Recovery – eating well, sleeping well, getting moving / family, friends & carers / grief & bereavement

Your Road To Recovery | Your COVID Recovery – coming home from hospital / managing daily activities / return to work / seeking help / what next?

 

Accessing post Covid-19 support

If you are experiencing post Covid-19 symptoms, please speak to your GP first.

Your GP has been provided with information to support you to access the services which are best suited to your needs. Your GP may carry out some tests to investigate symptoms and signs, which will also help them to rule out other conditions, and identify if the post COVID assessment service is the most appropriate option for you. They may refer you for an assessment with a healthcare professional, who will discuss your symptoms with you and identify any ongoing support options which will support your recovery. The assessment may be undertaken over the telephone, although if this does not work well for you then other arrangements will be made.

The post Covid-19 professional will discuss options with you, during the assessment as to next steps for your ongoing support and management of symptoms. This may include a variety of services, and may also include use of a virtual platform if this is suitable for you.

The healthcare team, including your GP, will make sure that your symptoms have been investigated and it is safe for you to start any rehabilitation. The team will work with you to develop and agree a personalised plan, which may, in part, take the form of a self-guided virtual platform.

 

Manchester Covid-19 Recovery Peer Support Group

For people recovering from COVID-19 there is a weekly Peer Support Group that can provide them with help and support. It:

  • Brings together people with shared experiences to support each other
  • Provides a safe and confidential space where you will feel accepted and understood
  • Treat everyone’s experiences as being equally important
  • Involves both giving and receiving support and top tips
  • Helps inform health and social care services about what support and services are needed for people living with the long term effects of COVID

The Peer Support Group currently meets online on a Wednesday evening from 6pm to 7pm. 

A WhatsApp group is also available for people to continue conversations throughout the week. 

Expenses are available to support people to join the Peer Support Group online.

If you are interested in joining the Peer Support Group Email Val at val.bayliss-brideaux@nhs.netor Text 07702 66 81 69

This Peer Support Group is open to people living in Greater Manchester. It is facilitated by Manchester Health and Care Commissioning