Health board offers boost towards creation of specialist 'Long Covid' clinic

The creation of a clinic or specialist centre to help people in Dumfries and Galloway suffering from ‘Long Covid’ has received a boost.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 12:48 pm
The long-term effects of Covid-19 are starting to be understood. Pic: Getty Images

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson wrote to NHS Dumfries and Galloway urging it to consider establishing such a facility in the region.

Now senior officials at the health board have confirmed they are considering such a move in the near future.

The news has been welcomed by Mr Finlay who praised the forward thinking of the health officials in attempting to tackle the problem..

He said: “The idea is to bring together multi-disciplinary teams including specialists in pulmonary rehabilitation, physiotherapy, psychology and chronic fatigue working alongside doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

“The impact that ‘Long Covid’ can have on people can be quite devastating and everything possible must be done to help them receive the best of treatment as quickly as possible.

“I am delighted the local health board is thinking along the same lines and I am sure it will be of enormous benefit to the people in Dumfries and Galloway.”

Mr Finlay’s colleague, Glasgow list MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane, explained how ‘Long Covid’ affects people.

He said: “As a frontline NHS doctor, I have seen first hand how devastating it can be to otherwise fit and healthy people.

"It leaves them gasping for breath, they’re knackered by crippling fatigue, their joints ache, their heart races, and their mind seems foggy.

“Some can barely get out of bed for the pain, or even make it to the toilet. This can be extremely frightening for patients who have described feeling trapped, unable to move on with their lives.”

The health board revealed it has developed a team of allied health professions made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and Pulmonary rehab, with input from a psychologist, that can be accessed via the Single Access Point.

A spokesperson said: “At present this is not a ‘clinic’ as such, but we are having ongoing discussions about how to develop this service It is likely that it will evolve over time.”

A similar Covid-19 rehabilitation pathway has already been developed by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.