Local NHS service to help patients with Long Covid

15 September 2021

People suffering with Long Covid, also known as Post-Covid Syndrome, can be referred by their GP to a local clinic in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR). This is a clinic to help patients suffering from the effects of Long Covid, which are significantly impacting their ability to function in day to day life.

NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group has worked in partnership with Northern Care Alliance on the service which is provided by the HMR enhanced respiratory team. If patients suspect they have long covid, they are asked to contact their GP, a referral from the GP into the service will be made and patients will receive a telephone screening triage. The team will provide care co-ordination and a range of treatments tailored to a patient’s needs. The team will also signpost to a range of relevant community services.

This vital service opened on in March 2021 and has been launched following emerging evidence that reveals a number of people who contract Covid-19 may struggle to shake off effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. The service accepts referrals for patients who have been struggling with their symptoms typically for at least 6 weeks after contracting Covid.

Symptoms of Post-Covid Syndrome can include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, joint or muscle pain, chest pains, and not being able to focus or think straight.

Once referred to the service, the Post Covid Assessment Service will make contact with the patient and an expert team of professionals will assess their condition and then provide ‘treatment and’ support in accessing services that can support their recovery.

Dr Sonal Sharma, Clinical Board Member for NHS HMR CCG and local Rochdale GP said: “I am pleased that the Post-Covid Assessment Service is now open and we are delighted to be working with NHS colleagues to deliver this service in HMR and support patients who are experiencing the symptoms of Long Covid. I have seen many patients suffering with Long Covid and know how difficult it is for those experiencing longer term effects of a Covid infection.

Dr Sarah Clarke, Respiratory Consultant, Northern Care Alliance said: “We know it is vital that people with Long Covid get the support they need and GPs can now refer patients with a diagnosis of Post-Covid Syndrome to this new service where they will receive a specialised assessment. If the effects of a Covid infection last for more than 6 weeks, I would urge patients to contact their GP practice.”

The service is for adults over the age of 18 and is available to anyone who is still experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 for more than 6 weeks after a confirmed Covid infection result.

Patients with higher acuity needs or other complications may have their referral discussed in a specialist Multidisciplinary teams (MDT) assessment clinic, this will be delivered by the Fairfield Respiratory Team in conjunction with nurse and therapy specialists from the HMR enhanced respiratory team and psychology. 

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of Long Covid can visit https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ for more information and if symptoms persist, should contact their GP.

For more information on Long Covid, please visit the NHS website: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/post-covid-syndrome-long-covid/

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