Long Covid is a condition that can affect people in many different ways and our understanding of how to manage it is still evolving.
New research has shown one in five people with coronavirus develop longer term symptoms. These can include “brain fog”, anxiety, depression, breathlessness, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.
Sirona are now taking referrals from GPs for people whose long Covid symptoms are significantly impacting how they are able to function in day-to-day life.
They are also working alongside other partners across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to develop advice and support using digital resources like Your Covid Recovery and working closely with GPs.
“People with persisting symptoms can now be referred to the long Covid Single Point of Access (SPA) run by us. The SPA will act as an entry point for patients who have more complex problems that need referral to the relevant specialist services or a multidisciplinary team based approach. Our service began accepting referrals from December 2020.”
Ceridwen Massey, Sirona’s Associate Director for Specialist Services
They join a network of more than 60 other clinics operating across the country with hundreds of patients already getting help.
NHS England has provided £10 million in additional funding to help kick start local services across the country.
Sirona are working with other partners across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to assess demand and access for these services.
“The NHS is taking practical action to help patients suffering ongoing health issues as a result of coronavirus. Bringing expert clinicians together in these clinics will deliver an integrated approach to support patients access to vital rehabilitation, as well as helping develop a greater understanding of long Covid.”
Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive
The NHS has also launched a long Covid task force, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians.
It will help lead the NHS response, produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals, and develop a wider understanding of the condition.