Covid-19 Long Covid Syndrome - (Post Covid)
Post-COVID Syndrome (Long COVID)
NHSE have a webpage dedicated to this topic. It tells us that : -
Emerging evidence and patient testimony is showing a growing number of people who contract COVID-19 cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. Symptoms are wide-ranging and fluctuating, and can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
The NICE guideline scope published on 30 October 2020 defines post-COVID syndrome as signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19 which continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. The definition says the condition usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which may change over time and can affect any system within the body. It also notes that many people with post-COVID syndrome can also experience generalised pain, fatigue, persisting high temperature and psychiatric problems.
In December 2020 NICE published a COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19.
To best equip clinicians to help patients with post-COVID syndrome, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have produced tips on the management of long-term effects of Covid-19 and Health Education England (HEE) have set-up e-learning modules on Covid-19 recovery and rehabilitation.
A set of SNOMED CT codes to support the management of these long term effects have been released and are available on all major GP EPR systems.
Guidance on return to work for people with long COVID
The Faculty of Occupational Medicine has published guidance for healthcare professionals to assist them in facilitating the return to work of people who are unable to work due to long COVID.
In July 21 NHSE introduced an Enhanced Service for Long Covid - See our contract webpage for further details of this.
Your COVID Recovery
This is a digital, interactive and tailored recovery and rehabilitation programme that has been developed by experts to provide rehabilitation support for post-COVID patients to manage their recovery at home.
The Your COVID Recovery online rehabilitation programme is available for systems to register as a service and access the training required to refer patients into the programme. Guidance on the platform has been published and you can register your service and request the training via: firstname.lastname@example.org
The public facing information website provides general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.
Support for staff with Long COVID
NHSE have pulled together a range of resources for staff who may need help with their recovery. NHSE ask that Managers also help colleagues access appropriate support by sharing information, holding safe and effective wellbeing conversations and signposting to the following:
- online rehab services at Your COVID Recovery
- NHSE comprehensive health and wellbeing offer
- system-wide staff mental health and wellbeing hubs
- one of the 89 Post-COVID Assessment Clinics via their GP
- onward referral to other support services where available via occupational health teams.
Long COVID assessment services
NHSE have announced that Long COVID (or Post Covid) assessment services have been set up, located across the country, and taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing a range of debilitating, enduring symptoms of coronavirus. These services bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer both physical and psychological assessments.
Each region has an identified lead for post COVID services, details of which are available on the Primary Care NHS Future site, along with information on how local teams or post COVID assessment services can refer patients to the Your COVID Recovery online platform. Please contact your regional lead for further information on long COVID services and patient pathways in your area.