In October 2020, NHS England/Improvement launched its five-point plan to support people with Post COVID-19 syndrome (also known as ‘Long COVID’).
Working across Lancashire and South Cumbria local ICPs have been working to create a service for patients with signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19.
The service has been developed on a tiered approach to the management of Post COVID-19 syndrome which is weighted by the level of intervention necessary for each patient from Tier 1–4.
A patient must be seen by a GP to be referred to the Post COVID service.
Tier One – Self-management support which includes the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website that provides general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.
Tier Two – Generalist assessment & support via GP Practice. There are a number of investigations that need to be completed in primary care prior to referral. Children should be referred to their local paediatric team via existing pathways.
If the GP feels the patient requires more support and meets the criteria following a full assessment the patient can be referred to the LSCFT Long COVID Hub.
Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust (LSCFT) have been appointed as the lead provider and have set up a Post COVID-19 service admin hub available for primary care teams to refer in to (see tier 3 below). The LSCFT Post COVID-19 admin hub will process the referrals and provide onward referral to the ICP holistic assessment hubs who will triage the patient.
Tier Three – The LSCFT hub contacts the patient and arranges an appointment for initial triage and assessment which will take place online.
Tier Four – Complex patients will receive specialist input and rehabilitation through a regional multi-disciplinary team led by LSCFT liaising directly with the BTH Long COVID
Further information into Post COVID-19 is available via the NHS website and it provides general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.
Recovery at Home after COVID-19
Life after illness can be challenging, and it can feel like a series of stepping stones to feel ‘normal’ again. The process of recovery will take time, effort and energy for you and your family. Remember to give yourself time to adapt, change, recharge and support yourself or your loved ones through this process. If you feel you require further support there is a list of contacts and resources on the back of this leaflet.
Moving around is important after being unwell; it can also help bowel function, bone density, exercise tolerance, muscle strength, blood pressure, breathing and chest clearance. Even when you don’t feel well or are feeling tired, getting out of bed and engaging in normal daily activities is very important – do what you can for yourself.
The downloadable Recovery at Home leaflet gives advice on how to combat common symptoms, such as breathlessness, and useful information on what you can do to continue your recovery from COVID-19.