Derbyshire service supports 'Long Covid' patients

Derbyshire patients who continue to experience symptoms following Covid-19 infection can have their rehabilitation and support needs assessed via the Post Covid Syndrome Assessment Service, through referral from GPs and hospital consultants.

Post Covid Syndrome, often referred to as 'Long Covid', usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping which may change over time and can affect any system within fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness, persisting high temperature and mental health problems. 

Derbyshire’s assessment service is delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, and specialist mental health input, who jointly assess patients to develop a personalised treatment plan.

A Derbyshire patient who contracted Covid-19 in February 2020 explained how they experienced shortness of breath, memory problems, severe coughing and pain for months after. Having been made aware of the assessment service, they approached and were referred by their GP to one of the doctors in the Post Covid Assessment Service team.

"The doctor was fantastic. They are brilliant. She gave me hope and direction."

The patient has been assigned a personalised recovery programme incorporating a range of occupational health, cognitive and physical wellbeing services and activities.

Melissa Dalton, Service Lead at Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) NHS Foundation Trust said: "DCHS are very proud of what has been achieved in such a short time, to have been able to hear Derbyshire patients' stories about their journey and challenges with Covid-19 and provide the recognition and understanding that their condition requires.

Steve Lloyd, Medical Director at NHS Derby and Derbyshire CCG, said: "I am proud to work with colleagues from across the Joined Up Care Derbyshire system to implement the post covid syndrome clinic in such as short space of time, therefore enabling patients to be assessed by a multi-disciplinary team in order to ensure they receive the care they require." 

The Your Covid Recovery website provides information, support and guidance for anyone experiencing ongoing symptoms from Covid-19 for both patients and carers. Those with mild, on-going symptoms are finding this can help them to complete the final steps of their recovery. Those with more severe symptoms can start their rehabilitation while they await further support.

If you are experiencing on-going symptoms for more than 12 weeks after having contracted coronavirus, you can speak to your GP for further advice and guidance on next steps. The service runs 9-5pm, Monday to Friday and is provided by Derbyshire Community Health Services. For more information about Derbyshire’s Long Covid treatment service, download this patient flyer.