Here you will find information for clinicians using the tool to support patients' recovery, including respiratory specialists, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists and GPs
What is Long-Covid?
Long-Covid is an illness that can last many months after someone has Covid-19. People may have a mixture of symptoms that vary day to day. Most people with Long-Covid can have fatigue, “brain fog”, feel breathless or have low mood and/or anxiety. Figures suggest the number of patients with Long-Covid is around 10% of those discharged from hospital
What help is there for Long-Covid Patients?
The NHS can help patients with the symptoms of Long-Covid and get better using existing treatments as part the Living With Covid Recovery Programme. These treatments target specific symptoms that can be linked and causal.
What is the Living With Covid Recovery Programme?
The programme has several parts.
- The App part is used by the Long-Covid patient to set goals, follow prescribed treatments and measure their progress.
- As well as the App, a Healthcare Professional (AHP) is assigned to the patient and can uses a computer ‘dashboard’ to track their symptoms health and progress. It also acts as a portal to message the patient and adapt their care programme when needed. In this way an AHP can monitor and support multiple patients remotely.
- These tools fit into a wider NHS care pathway set down by the NHS Trust. The patient is normally assessed in Long-Covid clinic to see that it is safe and suitable for them to be referred to the rehabilitation programme.
How does it work?
Patients are referred to a Long-Covid clinic by their GP or Hospital Consultant. In the clinic a senior doctor will go through some questions with the patient about their health and symptoms. If the patient is suitable for the Living With Covid Recovery Programme they will be referred to an AHP who will manage their care. The AHP will then help the patient create a recovery plan and show them how to use the App. The AHP can then use the computer dashboard to check on symptoms, patient progress and to message them with support. It normally takes 2-3 minutes per patient once they are set up on the App.
How effective is it?
The programme was piloted in London by St Barts NHS Trust and has shown health improvements for patients with Long-Covid as well as helping AHPs to monitor and care for them effectively.
As of August 2021, Living With Covid Recovery is helping over 1,200 patients with their recovery across 23 clinics in 16 NHS trusts such as Barts Health NHS Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and more. There are plans to roll out more widely soon to meet the growing need for this kind of help.