Humber Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service
The NHS has a new online resource www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk to help patients understand what has happened and what they might expect as part of their recovery.
Recovery time from COVID-19 is different for everyone, but for many people symptoms will resolve by 12 weeks. In addition to recovery time, the problems that people can experience can vary too. If new or ongoing symptoms occur they can change unpredictably, affecting patients in different ways at different times.
If you want help or are uncertain, rather than leave things, please contact NHS 111, your hospital team or your local GP surgery to discuss your situation.
Most patients with ongoing symptoms following COVID-19 will come under the care of their GPs, where self-management will be encouraged and supported while other causes of the symptoms are explored, and ruled out first, for up to 12 weeks.
For patients living in the Humber area, which includes Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, a new service is available for patients visiting their GP with ongoing symptoms consistent with post-COVID syndrome, where their condition has not improved after 12 or more weeks.
The new Humber Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service will bring a range of health professionals together to ensure patients are referred onto the right clinical pathway to support their ongoing rehabilitation and recovery. Your GP will be able to refer you, if appropriate, to the new service.
We have produced a NEW 22-page Post-COVID Patient Information Pack to help your recovery after Covid that contains exercises for breathing, managing your cough, coping with post COVID-19 fatigue and other impacts of the virus.
What is long COVID and what are its symptoms?
Long COVID describes a set of symptoms that continue long after the initial COVID-19 infection has gone. Long COVID is not just about people taking time to recover from a stay in intensive care. Even people who had relatively moderate COVID-19 at the time can experience long COVID symptoms.
Doctors are in the early stages of understanding this condition and there are a variety of different symptoms affecting many parts of the body. There is no medical definition or list of symptoms shared by all patients – two people with long COVID can have very different experiences.
Symptoms can include fatigue, breathlessness, a cough that won’t go away, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste as well as damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys and gut. Mental health problems have also been reported including depression, anxiety and struggling to think clearly.
Many of the symptoms above could be caused by other conditions, which medical professionals would expect to investigate and rule out first.
How can I access the new Long COVID Triage and Assessment Service?
Your GP will be able to refer you, if appropriate, to the new service which is for people with suspected Post-COVID-19 syndrome, when symptoms have not resolved after 12 weeks.
The service will have specialist clinical input including respiratory, geriatric, rehabilitation, mental health, therapies and others. The clinical team will review each patient’s needs and will follow up with recommendations on the most appropriate support and rehabilitation to manage ongoing care.
The team will make a decision on an appropriate treatment plan and/or onward referral to other specialist services and will let you and your GP know of the recommendation.
A guide for managing post-viral fatigue (reproduced by kind permission of Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Recovering from COVID-19: Post viral-fatigue and conserving energy provides practical advice for patients.
Long Covid Support is a peer support and advocacy group for people living with Long COVID
The British Psychological Society website has useful tips, advice and links to articles for professionals and the public.