Long Covid service launches for Kent and Medway

Long Covid services

People suffering with Long Covid, also known as Post-Covid Syndrome, can now be referred to a Post-Covid Assessment Service in Kent and Medway, which opened today (may 14).

NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group have contracted Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, who are working in partnership with West Kent Primary Care GP Federation, to provide this service for people diagnosed with Post-Covid Syndrome.

Post-Covid Syndrome is a new condition but the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines in identifying, assessing and managing the long-term effects of Covid-19 in December 2020. The NHS has also published national guidance that has been followed in setting up the new service.

Symptoms of Post-Covid Syndrome can include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, joint or muscle pain, chest pains, and not being able to focus or think straight.

Once referred to the service, the Post Covid Assessment Service will make contact with the patient and an expert team of professionals will assess their condition and then provide support in accessing services that can support their recovery

Dr Navin Kumta, GP and clinical lead for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I am pleased that the Post-Covid Assessment Service is now open. I have seen many patients suffering with Long Covid and know how difficult it is for those experiencing longer term effects of a Covid infection.

“GPs will now be able to refer patients with a diagnosis of Post-Covid Syndrome to this new service where they can get a specialised assessment from relevant professionals and the support they need.”

If the effects of a Covid infection last for more than 12 weeks, patients should contact their GP practice so any alternative diagnosis for the condition can be ruled out and to decide if the Post Covid Assessment Service would be suitable.

As this is a new condition, the NHS is also collecting the experiences of people with Long Covid to find out more about how it affects people and their families to make sure the patient voice is heard to shape the development of the service.

Almost 500 people have already either completed a survey or attended an online meeting.

The CCG is still organising interviews with patients and families who have experienced the longer term effects of a Covid-19 infection. If people can spare half an hour to tell us about their experiences, please email: [email protected].

More information is available on the NHS Kent and Medway CCG website: https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/your-covid-recovery