Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish and a ‘Long Termer’, has welcomed the news that people suffering ‘Long Covid’ symptoms will be offered specialist help at clinics across England.
Today (7 October) Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, announced that £10 million is be invested this year in additional local funding to help kick start and designate Long Covid clinics in every area across England, to complement existing primary, community and rehabilitation care.
Some estimates suggest that 10% of Covid patients may still be experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection, and perhaps 60,000 people could be suffering from ‘Long Covid’ symptoms after more than three months.
Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will all help assess, diagnose and treat thousands of sufferers who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
Gwynne has himself suffered from Long Covid since March and has pushed repeatedly in Parliament for more research into the condition and support for those living with it. This included tabling an Early Day Motion supported by MPs from every party represented in the House of Commons.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“This is fantastic news for all of us who are still experiencing symptoms months after recovering from Covid.
“I have found ‘Long Covid’ to be an absolutely debilitating condition and know that thousands of others are in the same boat. It has been a frustrating period for many of us, as we have had to struggle to get awareness – let alone clinical support – for the condition.
“I am delighted that the NHS England is taking ‘Long Covid’ seriously and hope that the measures announced today will help all of us ‘Long Termers’ along the road to recovery.”
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said:
“While this is still a relatively new virus, we are learning more about Covid with every passing week.
“It is now clear that Long Covid can have a major impact on the lives of a significant minority of patients weeks or months after they have contracted the virus.
“So just as the NHS quickly put in place specialist hospital care for acutely ill Covid patients at the start of the pandemic, now we must respond sensitively and effectively to these new patient needs.”