Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called for more support for long Covid sufferers after new figures revealed an estimated 138,000 people in the North West were living with the condition.
Gwynne, who has personally been impacted by long Covid, said too often those living with the illness have left like the “forgotten victims of the pandemic.”
ONS figures published yesterday show an estimated 1.94% of people in the North West, or over one in fifty, were living with long Covid. It makes the North West the region with the second highest proportion of long Covid sufferers out of any in England, below only the North East, and compares with a UK average of 1.69%.
The figures show there are a total of 1.1 million people living with the condition across the UK. 674,000 people said that long Covid symptoms were adversely affecting their day-to-day activities, while 196,000 reported that their ability to undertake their day-to-day activities had been limited a lot.
The analysis found that health and social care workers experienced the highest prevalence rates of self-reported long COVID. Over one in 28 (3.6%) of those working in health care had long Covid, along with almost one in 32 (3.1%) of those working in social care. Prevalence rates of self-reported long COVID were also higher in those aged 35 to 69 years, females and those living in the most deprived areas.
The APPG on Coronavirus is calling on the government to set up a compensation scheme for key workers living with long Covid who have been unable to return to work, including those working in health and social care. The cross-party group is also calling on the government to end the current “postcode lottery” of support for long Covid sufferers and ensure all those who need long-term treatment can access it.
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish and a member of the APPG on Coronavirus, commented:
“These figures reveal the devastating impact of long Covid across the North West.
“I have personally suffered with long Covid so I know how debilitating the symptoms can be.
“The government urgently needs to step support for too long Covid patients, who too often have felt like the forgotten victims of this pandemic. We need to end the current postcode lottery and make sure people in all areas can access the treatment they need.
“There should also be a compensation scheme for key workers with long Covid who have been on the frontline of this pandemic. Many NHS and care staff have caught long Covid and some are now so ill they are unable to return to work. They mustn’t be abandoned by the government in their time of need.”