The Long COVID Service is open to all MPFT staff and patients who live within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

It aims to provide help and support to those with Post COVID Syndrome, which is commonly known as Long COVID. Long COVID may present with some long-term side effects including breathlessness, poor sleep, fatigue, a cough, or anxiety and low mood.

NHS England defines the different stages of COVID as follows - Coronavirus - Post-COVID syndrome (long COVID) (england.nhs.uk):

  • Acute COVID-19 – signs and symptoms of Covid-19 lasting for up to four weeks.
  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from four to 12 weeks

Who is the service for?

The service is open to adults across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who have had both a positive COVID-19 test and symptoms of COVID-19 for more than 4 weeks.

How to refer into the service

Anyone who has had symptoms of Long COVID for 4 weeks or more, should contact their GP who can refer into the service as we are not a self-referral service.

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and the impact they are having on your life. They may suggest some tests to find out more about your symptoms such as a blood test, checking your blood pressure, heart rate, or a chest x-ray. They may then choose to refer you to our service for further support and guidance.

Pre-12 week referrals

Whilst you have been referred to the Long COVID Service, Long COVID is not defined until 12 weeks.

One of our care coordinators will make contact with you around 4, 8 and 12 weeks. The care coordinator will screen your symptoms and offer advice and self-management resources if appropriate to do so.

At 12 weeks, your care coordinator will determine whether or not you require a follow up with a clinician or if you can be discharged at this point.

Post-12 week referrals

A clinician will phone you to complete an initial assessment and care plan at an appointment arranged by the administration team at your convenience. A clinician can explain what further care and support is available to manage your symptoms followed by the next steps, which may be tests or a referral into other existing services.

Following your appointment, you may be offered a patient initiated follow up. This type of appointment allows you to arrange a follow-up appointment for you, or someone you care for, only when you need it. Your referral will remain open for six months. At six months, you will then receive an opt in letter, to establish whether or not you need to be re-reviewed by one of our Care Coordinators.

COVID Recover Graphic.jpgPlease note that we are not a self-referral service. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Long COVID, please contact your GP for an assessment.

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and the impact they are having on your life. They may suggest some tests to find out more about your symptoms such as a blood test, checking your blood pressure, heart rate, or a chest x-ray. They may then choose to refer you to our service for further support and guidance.

 

Our workshop is aimed at supporting people with symptoms of Long Covid. Each service user who comes into our service will be offered the opportunity to join our workshop, if appropriate to do so.

We offer these workshops face to face, and virtually. We welcome a family member, carer or friend to accompany you if you wish to do so.

Download our FAB Leaflet 

We offer support with vocational rehabilitation to assist patients to continue in their employment whilst managing their post covid symptoms. Following as assessment, a report is completed with goals and recommendations to support the patient and their manager to work on an effective return to work programme and make the correct adjustments.

The most effective workplace adjustments specific to Long COVID are:

  • 1. Prolonged phased return

  • 2. Individualised recovery and rehabilitation plans

  • 3. A Return-to-Work Plan. Follow up appointments and work place assessments can be offered where required.

Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. Our aim is to bring together people with shared experiences to support each other and to provide a space where you feel accepted and understood.

Our Care Coordinator's run peer support groups every few weeks. Please get in touch with the service if we have not already contacted you following your initial assessment.

We run the peer support groups virtually and face to face.

We now offer an exercise class in the community. This is a free 12 week personalised physical activity plan, to be delivered in a community setting and can help toward your post covid recovery. We offer this class in a range of different locations which include Newcastle Under Lyme, Cannock, Burntwood, Stoke City and Burton Albion.

Each service user who comes into our service will be offered the opportunity to join our exercise class, if approprate to do so following an assessment with your clinician.

Covid Recovery

 

Smell and Taste

  • AbScent - a UK charity founded to promote research into conditions resulting in a loss of smell

  • Fifth Sense - a UK charity supporting people affected by smell and taste disorders

  • Safe and Well – Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service – Safe & Well Check


Social support and charities

 

Fatigue


Breathlessness and activity

 

Sleep and relaxation

 

Psychology and mental health

 

Helplines

Who is this service for?

The service is open to adults across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent who have had both a positive COVID-19 test and symptoms of COVID-19 for more than 4 weeks.

 

Which clinicians work within this service?

Working in partnership, we have bought together specialists ranging from rehabilitation Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, General Practitioners, Care Co-ordinators, and Psychology Support.

 

How do I refer into your service?

Anyone who has had symptoms of Long COVID for 4 weeks or more, should contact their GP who can refer into the service.

NHS Staff can also refer their patients directly to our service.

 

What happens at my first appointment?

If you are referred to our service you will receive an SMS message with the date and time of your new patient assessment appointment where we will review your medical history and assess your health status following your diagnosis of Long COVID.

Your first appointment will be via the telephone. It will take 30 to 45 minutes depending on the information you give us. A treatment care plan will then be discussed and agreed with you.

Once a care plan has been agreed, and if no further care deemed necessary, you may be discharged with self management education and support. Alternatively, you may be referred into other services.

Following your appointment, you will be offered a patient initiated follow up. This type of appointment allows you to arrange a follow-up appointment for you, or someone you care for, only when you need it. Your referral will remain open for six months. At six months, you will then receive an opt in letter, to establish whether or not you need to be re-reviewed by one of our Care Coordinators.

 

Can I be seen face-to-face?

At the moment, we are primarily a virtual service; however if you require a face-to-face appointment we can arrange this for you. We can also offer video appointments.

 

What should I do if I cannot attend my appointment?

If you are unable to attend your appointment, please email us at lcvclinics@mpft.nhs.uk or call us on 0300 303 3425 as soon as possible to cancel your appointment. The phone number is a message taking number where you will be advised to leave your name, phone number, date of birth and your message. We will then get back to you on the number you have provided.

 

What happens if I do not attend my appointment?

If you fail to attend without advising us you may be discharged.

 

Feedback

We would love to hear your feedback about the Long COVID Service. Please take a moment to complete our online survey.