£90m investment into NHS clinics to treat long COVID symptoms

£90m investment into NHS clinics to treat long COVID symptoms
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The NHS will fund specialist clinics dedicated to treating long COVID symptoms as part of the long COVID action plan.

The latest announcement from the NHS means that patients suffering from long COVID symptoms will benefit from more convenient tests and checks closer to home. Specialist clinics will send people for tests at local one-stop shops and mobile clinics instead of patients going to their GP for multiple tests.

As part of the long COVID action plan, the NHS will invest an additional £90m to ensure that all patients have an initial assessment within six weeks to ensure they are diagnosed and treated quickly.

1.6 million people suffering from long COVID symptoms

The latest estimates from the ONS show that around 1.6 million people in England are experiencing long COVID symptoms, and one in five states it causes a significant impact on their daily life.

The long COVID action plan has been curated by patients, clinicians and partners across the health and care system, and significant progress has been achieved.

Furthermore, the plan involves a nationwide network of 90 specialist long COVID clinics, 14 hubs for children and young people, plus investment into training and guidance to support GP teams effectively.

One example of the long COVID plan in action is community outreach vans, which are being deployed in mid and south Essex to see patients with suspected long COVID symptoms for booked appointments and walk-ins before referring them for further assessment if required. The service offers blood pressure, heart rate, spirometry tests and other diagnostic tools.

Online platform for people with COVID infections

New figures confirm in the last year, over 45,000 people experiencing severe or complex long COVID symptoms have seen a specialist.

However, anyone experiencing long COVID symptoms can refer to the NHS’ ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website, which provides up-to-date information and tools to support recovery. The online platform offers expert advice on the next steps of recovery, tips for looking out for persistent long COVID symptoms and helpful resources. The site has been accessed by over 10 million people worldwide.

Health Minister James Morris said: “Long COVID can have lasting and debilitating effects on both the physical and mental health of people of all ages.

“These new measures will ensure individuals with this awful condition can access the support that they need more quickly and closer to home.

“The plan shows the incredible progress the NHS has made to provide further support to patients alongside our world-leading vaccination programme, which has delivered over 150 million jabs to protect people from the virus.”



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