Over 60,000 people could be suffering from long COVID.
People suffering ‘long COVID’ symptoms will be offered specialist help at clinics across England.
Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will all help assess, diagnose and treat thousands of sufferers who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
Increasing medical evidence and patient testimony is showing that a small but significant minority of people who contract COVID cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill.
Some estimates suggest that 10% of COVID patients may still be experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection, and perhaps 60,000 people could be suffering from long COVID symptoms after more than three months.
Groups have formed online of patients claiming to suffer severe long term effects of the virus.
In response to the announcement, Ondine Sherwood of LongCovidSOS, said: “LongCovidSOS welcome this announcement from NHS England. We believe that multi-disciplinary clinics are essential for the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of the huge numbers of people still suffering the effects of COVID-19.
Professor Chris Brightling, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Consultant Respiratory Physician University of Leicester and UHL NHS Trust, added: “Following Covid-19 infection, some people have persistent and debilitating symptoms including fatigue and breathlessness known as long covid.
“Sufferers need a coordinated approach to their care and rehabilitation so this proposed plan is most welcome.
“Long covid research studies are essential in understanding the reasons for the variable consequences of the disease to identify those at risk and to test new treatments.”