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BSW Long Covid Rehabilitation Assessment Clinic

BSW Long Covid Rehabilitation Assessment Clinic

What is Long Covid?

Covid disease is an infection caused by a coronavirus. Long Covid is a term to describe the effects of Covid-19 that continue for weeks or months beyond the initial illness. The health watchdog NICE defines long Covid as lasting for more than 12 weeks, although some other people consider symptoms that last more than eight weeks to be Long Covid.

Details of how some people are affected by Long Covid are still emerging, but research suggests around one in five people who test positive for Covid-19 have symptoms for five weeks or longer. For around one in ten people, they last 12 weeks or longer.

These long-term effects are often reported by people who didn’t need to go to hospital during the acute phase of Covid.

Long Covid symptoms commonly experienced by patients we have already assessed include:

  • fatigue
  • breathlessness
  • anxiety and depression
  • palpitations
  • chest pains
  • joint or muscle pain
  • not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’)
  • dizziness
  • persistent cough
  • loss of taste or sense of smell

What is Long Covid rehabilitation assessment clinic?

A team of Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and Respiratory nurses will work together to assess patients from across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire to provide a Long Covid rehabilitation assessment clinic.

The clinic is designed to help people who still have symptoms related to a Covid infection after 12 weeks. The aim of the clinic is to identify what symptoms a person is experiencing and how this is affecting them day to day. We help them find resources and/or treatments to manage these symptoms effectively so they can rehabilitate to living a fulfilling life.

How do I get referred to the Long Covid Rehabilitation assessment clinic?

Our team is accepting referrals from your GP using a form they access through your electronic records. To be referred you and your GP will need to confirm it is over 12 weeks since your Covid symptoms started and that you live or your GP is registered within Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon or Wiltshire.  Assessment clinics are for young people aged 14 years and over and adults.

We ask that your GP includes a summary of a recent blood test and if appropriate chest x-ray results. Your referral is then checked and you will receive notification that it has been accepted. You will then be offered a telephone assessment within 2-8 weeks.

What can I expect if I am referred to the Long Covid clinic?

The assessment clinic has 3 phases:

Phase 1 – Telephone assessment

A 60 minute telephone/video assessment appointment. This appointment will include discussion of the impact of Covid on you, identifying treatment/self-help resources that have been tried and identifying a problem list and key personalised goals. This appointment will be with one of the assessment team, made up of Specialist Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Respiratory Nurses.

Phase 2 – Exercise tolerance assessment

This is a face to face meeting where we will measure your oxygen saturations (the amount of oxygen in your blood), heart rate and blood pressure at rest and after a 1 minute sit to stand test this will be repeated. In some cases a further 6 minute timed walk will be undertaken. This is to determine if you are fit for a graduated and personalised rehab approach or you need further medical investigation, management or monitoring.

Phase 3 – Provide a treatment plan and resources

We will then work with you to create a personalised treatment plan, targeting the areas/problems you find most significant. If required we will make referrals to appropriate services to meet these needs. We will provide your GP with a summary of our plan.

Covid-19 Recovery Pathway Patient Passport

Is there anything I can do to help myself?

There are a number of helpful resources available, please find a list below;

Your COVID Recovery | Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

Information for the public | COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19 | Guidance | NICE

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has put together some useful pacing advice to help you slowly build up your activity level.

The British Lung Foundation has created some useful resources to explain breathlessness and suggest ways to manage it.

The Chartered Society of physiotherapy has put together some advice on building up strength, managing breathlessness and pacing up activity.
Covid-19: the Road to Recovery (csp.org.uk)

The British Tinnitus Association explains what tinnitus is and some ways to manage it.
Covid-19 guidance for people with tinnitus | British Tinnitus Association

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust have made this video for advice on how to pace yourself and manage any mental health effects of Covid-19.