In October 2020, NHS England/Improvement launched its five-point plan to support people with post-COVID-19 syndrome (also known as ‘Long COVID’).
Working across Lancashire and South Cumbria local ICPs have been working to create a service for patients with signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19.
On the Fylde Coast the service is slightly different with a dedicated local service taking affect from tier 3 as described below. The service is now ready to launch on Tuesday 2 March 2021.
The service has been developed on a tiered approach to the management of Post COVID-19 syndrome which is weighted by the level of intervention necessary for each patient from Tier 1 – 4.
A patient must be seen by a GP in order to be referred to the Long COVID service.
Tier one – Self-management support which includes the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ website that provides general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.
Tier two – Generalist assessment & support via GP Practice. There are a number of investigations that need to be completed in primary care prior to referral. Children should be referred to their local paediatric team via existing pathways.
If the GP feels the patient requires more support and meets the criteria following a full assessment the patient can be referred to the LSCFT Long COVID Hub.
Lancashire & South Cumbria Foundation Trust (LSCFT) have been appointed as the lead provider and have set up a Post COVID-19 service admin hub available for primary care teams to refer in to (see tier 3 below). The LSCFT Post COVID-19 admin hub will process the referrals and provide onward referral to the ICP holistic assessment hubs who will triage the patient.
Tier three – The LSCFT hub contacts the patient and arranges an appointment for initial triage and assessment which will take place at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Long COVID Service based at the Physiotherapy Out Patients department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The patient is then started on a treatment plan which includes referrals to specialist services such as pulmonary rehabilitation, pain management and dietetics should it become necessary.
Tier four – Complex patients will receive specialist input and rehabilitation through a regional multi-disciplinary team led by LSCFT liaising directly with the BTH Long COVID Service.
Further information into Post COVID-19 is available via the NHS website and it provides general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19 including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, advice on recovery and information for families and carers.