Long Covid or Post-Covid Syndrome
Some people recovering from Covid-19 are experiencing longer term symptoms, including pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion and memory problems - commonly called brain fog. This has become known as Long Covid.
Long Covid, also known as Post-Covid Syndrome, is a new condition.
The NHS website Your Covid Recovery is there to help people recover from the effects of Covid-19. It includes information from experts about how to look after your health and wellbeing. It also includes information on returning to work and a helpful section for family, friends and carers of people, who are recovering from Covid.
The NHS is also setting up specialist Long Covid services for children and young people.
If, at any time in your recovery from Covid-19, you are worried about continuing symptoms or if you develop new or worsening symptoms you should contact your GP or hospital team for the help you need.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines in identifying, assessing and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 in December 2020.
Kent and Medway update
In Kent and Medway we asked patients about their experiences of Long Covid, which you can read in this report, together with how those experiences helped to shape our Post Covid Assessment Service.
We will continue to listen to people’s experiences of Long Covid to help develop support services, especially because it is a new and complex condition.
If you had Covid-19 and continued to have symptoms after four weeks, please consider sharing your story to help improve services for people recovering from Covid-19. Even if you have now completely recovered, sharing your views and experiences will help others.
Kent and Medway Post Covid Assessment Service
Kent and Medway Post Covid Assessment Service - sometimes referred to as PCAS - opened on 14 May 2021. In its first 10 weeks, the service, which is for people with Long Covid, received around 600 referrals.
It’s for patients experiencing continuing symptoms after 12 weeks of a Covid infection. Any patient who needs help with Long Covid should contact their GP practice.
Before referring to the Post Covid Assessment Service, a patient’s GP may carry out further tests - depending on symptoms - so any alternative diagnosis can be ruled out and also to decide if referral to the Post Covid Assessment Service would be suitable.
Once referred, the Post Covid Assessment Service will get in touch and an expert team of professionals will assess a person’s condition and provide support in accessing services to support recovery.
Patients are usually assessed within six weeks, unless they chose to delay assessment for personal reasons. However, the service is still experiencing a significant number of referrals. We are working with West Kent Primary Care, which provides the service, to continually monitor demand and service capacity.
If you are having difficulty being referred to the Post Covid Assessment Service, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support and advice for people with Long Covid
- If you have Long Covid, or you know someone who does, you may also find the following helpful: Your Covid Recovery – this NHS site provides information about Long Covid and advice for self-care. It is regularly updated as we learn more about Long Covid.
- Mental Wellbeing Support - the impact and experience of Long Covid affects many people’s mental health and wellbeing and information about what local support is available in Kent and Medway can be found on our mental well being information hub. For advice from the NHS about the impact of Covid on mental wellbeing, visit Every Mind Matters.
- One You Kent and Better Medway can help you get back to a healthier you. Key areas of support include reaching a healthy weight, quitting smoking and getting moving.
- Get connected to advice, support and social activities in your local area:
- Medway (Imago/Medway Voluntary Action) - Simply Connect Medway - connecting you to your local community
- East Kent (Red Zebra) - Connect Well Kent - Connecting you with help and wellbeing services
- West Kent (Involve) - Involve | Connect Well West Kent - Connecting you with help &andwellbeing services
- Dartford/Swale (Imago) - Imago Community
5. NHS Our People – many people with Long Covid work for the NHS and there is free confidential support, guides and wellbeing apps for physical and mental health and wellbeing available: Our NHS People - helping you manage your own health and wellbeing while looking after others.