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Long Covid

Whilst many patients who have had acute sars-cov-2 infection will recovery without long term complications it is becoming widely acknowledged that there is and will be a cohort of patients with COVID-19 who having persisting symptoms. These patients have already been or have planned review within recently established “Post-Covid” clinics but it is recognised that they may have complex symptomology which require the input of numerous medical and allied health professionals to support recovery.

In light of the rising evidence around “post-covid syndrome” there has been a call from NHSE for commissioned services to provide support for patients recovering after acute covid-19 and in particular to address the needs of patients with Long COVID. The guidance on who fits within this novel cohort and on how best patients within this group should be managed, continues to evolve and it is likely that the guidance will continue to be updated as further evidence becomes available.

The Long COVID clinic at BHRUT has been established to provide a comprehensive assessment and management of patients with ongoing symptoms. The clinic is one of three sites across NEL that has been specially commissioned to provide services to support patients. Numerous components within the pathway have been developed to meet the current recognised needs of patients with Long Covid syndrome and to address potential physical, neuro-cognitive, mental health, rehabilitation, psychological and social needs that may arise. The development of the pathway has been iterative and is likely to be adapted as the burden of need changes and as further evidence and guidance becomes available.  

To access the LONG COVID service the referral form must be completed fully to facilitate a comprehensive assessment and appropriate triage based upon the patients’ needs at the time for referral. Patients must meet the essential criteria to be accepted for review. The service is for patients who have are thought to have symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection at 12 weeks after the acute episode of illness. For patients with symptoms prior to 12 weeks after symptom onset please refer to the existing Post-COVID pathways in place or contact the Respiratory Advice and Guidance service if needed for further support.

It is acknowledged that a small cohort of patients who had been diagnosed or had symptoms early on in the pandemic may not have been tested but where possible this should be qualified, in particular for patients presenting after testing was widely accessible within the community.

If your patient was treated at BHRUT, a post discharge chest x-ray is likely to have been organised by the Trust, if your patient was treated at another hospital or within the community you will have to request a chest x-ray prior to referral.  

CEG have distributed the referral form and this should now be available on your clinical system. We have received feedback from GPs about this form and are looking to amend it pending new mandatory guidance which is due to be released in the near future.

If you have any questions please contact louise.brent@nhs.net  or send an A&G request to BHRUT’s Respiratory Team for further information.

 Downloads

BHRUT Long Covid Clinic referral form

BHR COVID pathways (webinar 18 March 2021)

BHR non-clinical services to support patients' recovery from COVID (webinar 13 May 2021)  

© 2022 NHS Havering Clinical Commissioning Group.