Stormont health minister announces establishment of ‘Long Covid’ services

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Health minister Robin Swann

Q Radio News/PA

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced new services for the treatment and assessment of “Long Covid”.

The services include the establishment of a new multi-disciplinary assessment service for post-Covid-19 patients.

Mr Swann said: “Covid-19 has presented many challenges, not least for our health service. And whilst we will continue to live with Covid-19 for some time yet, we need to focus on rebuilding our services in a post-covid era.

“That is a challenge. That is the legacy of Covid-19. We need to build back better and stronger than before and to deal with the issues coming our way post-pandemic.

“Providing appropriate assessments and treatments for patients who are experiencing long-term effects of Covid-19 is an essential part of building back services.”

The services will be in place across all Health and Social Care Trust areas and be open to referrals from both primary and secondary care.

Mr Swann added: “The new services will offer dedicated support for the assessment and treatment of post-Covid-19 syndrome over the short and medium term.

“The proposed model will also strengthen core services for psychology and post-critical care recovery in the long term including follow-up services for patients.”

It is anticipated that the services will be established by end of October 2021. In the meantime patients displaying Long-Covid symptoms will continue to be treated via existing services in both primary and secondary care.

Elements of the new service will include a pulmonary rehabilitation/dysfunctional breathing service, follow up services for patients discharged from critical care and psychology support for all health trusts.

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