County's Long Covid sufferers to get specialist help

People suffering the "debilitating" effects of 'Long Covid' will be helped by a specialist clinic set up in the county.

Councillor Ann Hartley has welcomed the support for sufferers of Long Covid
Councillor Ann Hartley has welcomed the support for sufferers of Long Covid

The support has been welcomed by one sufferer of Long Covid, who has been living with the effects of the illness seven months after she was first hospitalised.

Shropshire Community Health Trust will be managing the support with a specialist treatment centre taking referrals from GPs.

It comes as more and more information about the debilitating long-term impact of the disease comes to light.

Research has shown that one in five people who contract Covid then develop longer term effects – including brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other symptoms.

Around 186,000 people suffer problems for up to 12 weeks, the Office for National Statistics found.

The Shropshire support clinic is one of 69 centres being set up across the UK as the chief executive of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens said it was vital to help patients in their rehabilitation.

He said: “The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus. Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients access vital rehabilitation, as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long Covid and its debilitating symptoms.”

The new centres bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer both physical and psychological assessments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation services.

Shropshire Council chairman, Ann Hartley, who suffers with long Covid, said that the support would be a huge comfort to those still wrestling with the long-term effects of the disease.

Speaking about her experience with the illness earlier this year she explained how even seemingly strong and healthy people had suffered protracted debilitating symptoms.

She said: "It doesn't seem to matter how fit you were before.

"I have talked to an ironman triathlete, a firefighter and lots of doctors and consultants who now have Long Covid.

'Really good news'

"Some people are in wheelchairs, it is affecting them so badly."

Councillor Hartley, said it was good news that people who did not have to have a positive test, as in the past, would be able to access help.

"This is really good news and it shows that Long Covid is now being taken seriously and being recognised," she said.

"We understood that there would be around 40 clinics but to have 69, with one here in Shropshire is excellent.

"People like myself, who had Covid at the beginning of the pandemic, never had tests, we took the then advice to stay at home and take paracetamol and fluids. "

Councillor Hartley said that with the second wave of coronavirus she feared that there would be many thousands more people suffering from Long Covid.

The councillor has taken part in a national trial looking at how Long Covid develops and can be treated.

The NHS has also launched a long covid taskforce, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians involved, to help lead the NHS response to long covid, produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals, and develop a wider understanding of the condition.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News