The NHS has invested £10 million to meet the additional demand created by ongoing COVID-19 symptoms in a proportion of the population. This investment will help local services in every part of the country bring together the right professionals to provide physical, cognitive and psychological assessments for those experiencing suspected post-COVID syndrome (Long COVID), so that they can be referred to the right support.
Long COVID, or post-COVID syndrome is not one condition. The term Long COVID is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after acute COVID‑19. It includes both ongoing symptomatic COVID‑19 and post‑COVID‑19 syndrome (defined below).
It is estimated that 1 in 10 people with COVID will develop long COVID symptoms.
The Cheshire and Merseyside Long COVID Service is a virtual assessment hub for adults 18 years and older who have had COVID (clinical or laboratory diagnosis) with symptoms persisting for more than 10 weeks.
It is a NHS England commissioned regional service provided by Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is based at the Aintree Hospital site. The service is led by three respiratory consultants; Dr Gurinder Tack, Dr Laura Watkins and Dr Nneka Nwosu with a team of clinical fellows, physicians associates and administrative support.
The service has been operation since January 2021 and currently receives 15-20 referrals a day.
We offer onward referrals for community therapies to address; anxiety, breathlessness, mood disturbance, memory and cognition (problem solving) changes.
After assessment onward community referrals options are;
We are working with different providers to expand our onward referral options.
We do not:
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for up to four weeks.
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from four to twelve weeks.
Signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than twelve weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.
Step 1: Patient self-management
COVID symptoms for less than 10 weeks.
Please access: www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk
Step 2: GP review
COVID symptoms for 10 weeks or longer.
Patients to see their own GP to ensure there is not an alternative diagnosis for your symptoms.
The GP will be required to:
Step 3: Long COVID Assessment Hub 1st Virtual appointment
Virtual (telephone or video) 45 minute appointment speaking to one of our clinical team members.
Soon to be supported by a phone based app.
Decision made about referral to appropriate onward community based services or patient is discharged.
Step 4: Onward community referrals
Virtual or face to face reviews in patient’s local area by the relevant teams.
If Long COVID symptoms resolve the community team can discharge the patient from the Cheshire and Merseyside Long COVID Assessment Hub.
Step 5: Long COVID assessment hub 2nd Virtual appointment
Virtual 30 minute appointment to assess improvement of symptoms.
All patients will be discharged at this point:
Loss of smell and taste
The loss of smell and taste is one of the recognised symptoms of COVID-19
Just over half of patients with the virus will lose their sense of smell, but most will recover smell and taste after two or three weeks.
Unfortunately, one in ten people who lose their sense of smell will have persistent smell loss which can last at least eight weeks, but commonly lasts for many months.
We do not manage loss of smell or taste within the Long COVID Assessment Hub.
Patients can be directed to: