Long COVID is being recognised widely as a long-term condition that is having a debilitating impact on a large proportion of the population. It is diagnosed when symptoms which have developed during or after infection with COVID-19, continue for more than 4 weeks.
Individuals who are registered with a Doncaster GP can be referred to the Long COVID Team. With over 700 referrals to date, the service is on hand ready to provide guidance, support and treatment.
The team is made up of a range of healthcare professionals, including Physiotherapists, an Occupational Therapist, Therapy Assistants, a Community Engagement Officer, and Administrative Support.
What do they do?
- Following referral into the service by your GP, you will be added to a waiting list. Your initial consultation will be a comprehensive telephone assessment, whereby you will mutually agree with the assessing clinician the best course of action to take by discussing the interventions they can offer you.
- The team will also discuss your symptoms with you and ensure that they cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis.
- Some interventions are carried out in clinic on a one-to-one basis, and some are offered in a group face-to-face setting.
- Interventions may include education around teaching techniques to help with breathlessness and coughs, advice to manage fatigue and poor sleep, gentle exercise to help you to return to activity, mindfulness, and relaxation.
For more information, see the RDASH webpage here.
Patient testimonies of the service:
I have been visiting the Long Covid Clinic for a few months now. I have been having breathing therapy, relaxation therapy and also fatigue management. This clinic has been a great help to me, not only just by trying to help manage my long list of symptoms but also because all the staff really understand and care. With Covid being so new, I do get the impression that most people struggle with the idea of Long Covid and that can be very mentally challenging also. The ladies that are helping me are experts in Long Covid Myalgia and aim to help me at most fully recover or at least manage my symptoms. I would recommend this service to anyone; we are lucky to have this in Doncaster.
RG, age 75
Long Covid really hit me. Hard. I was shocked to be so alarmingly short of energy, to get so out of breath, to need so many rests. But attending the Long Covid Service soon taught me that I was not alone with my symptoms. Other people felt the same. That was reassuring. I started to make progress. The 1:1 sessions and practical support were great: I found being able to off-load some of my concerns was of real benefit. Meeting other people of similar and different ages in the Long Covid groups was excellent: we shared experiences. We learned practical self-help management which I was able to practise at home. More slow progress. Confidence was growing. My good days outnumbered the bad. I have now returned to work. I am able to organise my weeks again. And be social at weekends too. I can be the person I thought I would not be. I can walk a beach and know that each step is one step more than I could have imagined when I felt so fatigued.
I am very grateful to the Physio Team for their skill and dedication and all they did to help me get my life back and make my Long Covid a memory rather than a daily torment.
BG, age 53
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