With Long Covid being such a varied and little understood condition, which affected so many, and with limited research and guidance available, devising effective treatment plans for patients of Long Covid had proven difficult. To address this problem, we spoke to hundreds of patients, gathering their real-life experiences. We asked them what they wanted and needed to feel supported and cared for as they navigated their Long Covid recovery.
Due to the difficulties in accessing primary care during the pandemic, it was decided that it would need to be a remote tool that allowed patients and their clinicians to interact and co-manage their rehabilitation together from a distance.
The rehabilitation tool targets primary symptoms that ‘long-haulers’ report experiencing for many weeks and even months after the peak of their infection – such as fatigue, anxiety and breathing problems. It combines evidence-based methods from physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians and respiratory physicians to create bespoke treatment plans for each patient. The treatments and exercises used are all well established in the NHS and used to treat individual symptoms.
The project team has included UCLPartners, UCL, Barts Health NHS Trust, NIHR ARC North Thames, NIHR ARC Wessex, University of Southampton, University of Exeter and Living With.
UCLPartners’ role in the development of this tool has been in supporting adoption and spread of the programme. Living With Covid Recovery is currently supporting patients within the UCLPartners region at Barts Health NHS Trust.