Specialist virtual clinic set up by Suffolk NHS trust for long Covid patients
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A specialist clinic to help people suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19 has been set up by a Suffolk NHS trust.
The Suffolk and North East Essex Long Covid Assessment Service (SNELCAS) is a virtual clinic which will refer patients directly to the appropriate services or specialist clinics for their needs.
Long Covid is defined as symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with Covid-19 which continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.
Symptoms include brain fog, anxiety, depression, breathlessness and fatigue.
So far more than 700 patients who have developed longer-term health problems after recovering from the acute phase of COVID-19 in hospital have been treated by the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System.
You may also want to watch:
Nearly 7,000 people in Suffolk and north east Essex have survived Covid-19 but the number of people who might have Long Covid is unknown.
Patients who may need the service's help will first be assessed by their GPs to rule out other causes but if after 12 weeks their symptoms have not improved, their GP will refer them into the SNELCAS screening hub.
- 1 Tories retain Suffolk County Council control - but Greens make huge gains
- 2 A weekend of potential departures as Town finish up their disappointing season
- 3 How Suffolk voted in the county council elections 2021
- 4 Poorly rated Chick King takeaway goes into liquidation
- 5 Joy as council reverses ban on motorhomes in car parks
- 6 'Masterpiece' modernist home with panoramic sea views for sale for £850,000
- 7 'Complete shock' - Neighbours stunned after cannabis farm uncovered
- 8 See inside beautiful stately home near Ipswich - for one day only
- 9 Bookings now open for unique new Suffolk dining experience
- 10 Plans to convert pub into block of holiday lets withdrawn
From there they will be further assessed and can be referred into a combination of other services such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, dietetics, mental health services and social prescribing, with further hospital treatment if necessary.
The clinical lead for the development of SNELCAS, Dr Peter Holloway said: “It has been a huge challenge to design and construct a service from scratch in such a short time.
"I nevertheless believe we have established a thorough and effective core service to support and treat patients with Long Covid."
Lee Taylor, head of strategy for the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk, NHS West Suffolk and NHS North East Essex CCGs, who led on the development of SNELCAS, said: “We hope that most people will be able to make a full recovery but there could be others left with more serious conditions as a result of the way COVID-19 has affected them.
"I am grateful to everyone who has helped to put this complex care plan together."