NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde launch long COVID service to help those suffering the lasting impact of coronavirus infection
'The Long COVID Service' will provide a holistic approach to tackling the impact of the condition on people, providing interventions, guidance and tools for patients to live well with their symptoms after the initial COVID infection.
And patients will also be given access to a range of specialists.
Fiona Smith, director of allied health professionals, said the health board were “committed” to providing the best possible patient care.
She told the Herald: “The long COVID service is a huge step forward in supporting people who are impacted by the longer lasting effects of the disease.
"Living with long COVID can be extremely challenging and the service aims to provide support for patients and their families to ensure they have access to the best resources to support recovery and improve the quality of their lives.”
Administrative support, advanced practice occupational therapists, advanced practice physiotherapists and health care support staff will all be on hand to offer advice on managing and improving the symptoms of the condition for children, young people and adults who have been diagnosed by their GP as having long COVID.
The most common symptoms of long COVID include fatigue, breathlessness or short of breath, loss of
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smell, and muscle aches.
However, other symptoms include problems with memory and concentration, chest pain or tightness, difficulty in sleeping, heart palpitations, pins and needles, and joint pain to name a few.
During its three month trial launch, the service has already had 340 referrals where it has been able to support individuals with varying needs and symptoms in relation to the condition.
Service user Caitlin Hamlett praised the specialist team.
She told us: “Living with the symptoms of long COVID can be extremely difficult and exhausting.
“The service has provided a lifeline in my rehabilitation both physically and mentally.
“The compassion and knowledge of the staff has given me a clear direction for managing my symptoms on the path to recovery, and I am extremely grateful for the help I have received.
“I would urge anyone who is living with long COVID to reach out to their GP who can refer you to the service, where you will be able to connect with others in a similar position to you.”
“I would like to thank all the staff at NHSGGC and the individual health and care social partnerships for their help and assistance in the development of the service.”
Ms Smith thanked staff and the individual health and care social partnerships for pulling together the service.
For more information on the long COVID service and how you can access help, please visit nhsgcc.scot.