Clinic for people with long Covid to be established in Norfolk
- Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017
A Norfolk NHS trust is to host one of a network of specialist clinics helping people suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus.
Hundreds of patients are already receiving help from the 69 assessment centres that are taking referrals from GPs of people who could be battling long Covid.
Plans for some 43 clinics were previously announced by NHS England in November, which has provided £10 million for the network.
Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust, which normally delivers services including community nursing, end of life care and specialist nursing, has been named as one of the expanded network of 60 sites, seven of which will be in the East of England.
NHS England said patients who will be referred include those experiencing brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.
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Norfolk nurse Hannah Wiltshire, 35, from Easton, is amongst those who have suffered long lasting effects after testing positive for coronavirus.
After five months of debilitating pain that left her unable to pick up her four children or work, she was diagnosed with long-Covid.
Her symptoms include brain fog, extreme fatigue and a constant “fizzing” pain in her upper arms and thighs.
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She said: “When I used to walk with my four children I would be really on the ball and able to concentrate but now I can’t do that.
“If they’re all crying I can’t think straight or plan for the day and I have to run everything past my husband. People don’t understand how debilitating that is.
The health service highlighted that research suggested one in five people with coronavirus develop longer term symptoms.
Office for National Statistics data also indicates around 186,000 people suffer problems for up to 12 weeks.
The specialist Norfolk clinic will bring together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to offer physical and psychological assessments and refer patients to the right treatment and rehabilitation services.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients to access vital rehabilitation, as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long Covid and its debilitating symptoms."