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Chelsea provides specialist access for patients suffering with Long COVID symptoms

21 December 2020

The Trust is delighted to be one of more than 60 sites across England, providing support for patients suffering with long term symptoms of coronavirus.

The Trust is delighted to be one of more than 60 sites across England, providing support for patients suffering with long term symptoms of coronavirus.

The assessment centres are taking referrals from GPs for people experiencing brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

NHS England has provided £10 million for the network of clinics, which started opening last month. There are now 69 operating across the country with hundreds of patients already getting help.

New research has shown one in five people with coronavirus develop longer term symptoms. Around 186,000 people suffer problems for up to 12 weeks, the Office for National Statistics found.

The new centres bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer both physical and psychological assessments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation services.

Ten sites are now operational in London, seven in the East of England, eight in the Midlands, South East and South West, respectively, nine in the North West and a further 18 across the North East and Yorkshire.

A further 12 sites will be launched in January in the East Midlands, Lancashire, Cornwall and Isle of Wight.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today also issued official guidance on best practice for recognising, investigating and rehabilitating patients with Long COVID.

Patients can access services if they are referred by a GP or another healthcare professional, so that doctors can first rule out other possible underlying causes for symptoms.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, said: “The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus. Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients access vital rehabilitation, as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long covid and its debilitating symptoms.”

Dr Roger Chin, Trust Medical Director, said: “We are continuously learning about the impact of coronavirus infection on those who have been affected. There are very many patients for whom there are no ongoing issues. For a minority of patients, there will be a variety of continued health issues which are known as Long COVID.

“We have set up Long COVID services using the expertise of our primary care, community, mental health and acute providers to be able to respond to these patients’ needs in a timely and efficient manner.”

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