40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics are to launch to support patients suffering from the effects of the virus months after being infected.
The clinics, due to start opening at the end of November, will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms.
The condition, which is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK, can cause continuing fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain.
Ten sites have been planned for the Midlands, seven in the North East, six in the East of England, South West and South East respectively, five in London and three in the North West.
Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professionals.
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Long COVID is already having a very serious impact on many people’s lives and could well go on to affect hundreds of thousands.”
“That is why, while treating rising numbers of patients who are sick with the virus and many more who do not have it, the NHS is taking action to address those suffering ongoing health issues.”
“These pioneering ‘long COVID’ clinics will help address the very real problems being faced by patients today while the taskforce will help the NHS develop a greater understanding of the lasting effects of coronavirus.”