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History of the Derbyshire long COVID clinic

The Derbyshire long-COVIDclinic started in December 2020 with the first referral received on 29th December.

Since December 2020 – December 2021 we received 1280 referrals and are sent an average of 25 referrals a week.  1029 of those referrals have had an initial contact from the clinic in a variety of ways, e.g. letter, phone call or email.

We see people of all ages, and we are prioritising Under 16s, pregnant patients and NHS Staff.

We cover the whole of Derbyshire, and anyone registered with a GP in Derbyshire can ask for a referral into the service.

 

How to get a referral

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of long covid, please make an appointment to see your GP. We accept referrals for patients with:

  • History of COVID-19 (symptoms highly suggestive of infection, positive PCR or antibody positive)
  • Ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 beyond 4 weeks.

Your GP will firstly complete some investigations to rule out alternative causes for your symptoms such as blood tests, and they may also arrange a chest x-ray if you are having any difficulties with your breathing.

They will then send a completed referral form to us at the clinic. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire too with some details about your symptoms.

 

What to expect from the clinic

Once we receive your completed referral form, you will be added to our waiting list.

Following this, you will be allocated an initial assessment appointment with one of our clinicians. We will write to you or email you to tell you when we have made you an appointment. If the date or time doesn’t suit you, please contact us to rearrange it.

The consultation will take around an hour, and will be undertaken on the telephone. The clinician will take a full medical history and ask about your symptoms since having COVID-19, when the symptoms started and how long you have had them, and how much it is impacting on areas of your life. It’s a good idea to write some notes before this phone call, to make sure you discuss everything you want to.

The clinician will consider your symptoms and then formulate a care plan, which will be tailored to your needs. They may refer you for more investigations, direct you to some resources for self-help strategies, start new medication for some of your symptoms, or refer you to our long covid rehabilitation services. They may also ask your GP to perform certain assessments or investigations.

 

What is long covid?

Long covid is sometimes called Post-Covid Syndrome. It describes the signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19, which continue for more than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. The condition usually presents with a variety of overlapping symptoms, which may sometimes change in nature over time and can affect any system within your body.

Ongoing symptomatic COVID: When COVID symptoms carry on for 4 to 12 weeks

Post-COVID Syndrome: When COVID symptoms carry on for over 12 weeks

This short video helps to explain some of the symptoms of post-COVID syndrome:

 

Which symptoms are most common?

To date, there are lots of different symptoms of post-covid syndrome, some of which may change over time.

This list is by no means exhaustive, as long covid affects everyone differently. The time it takes to recover also varies from person to person.

How is long covid diagnosed?

There isn’t a specific test to diagnose long covid, so your GP will firstly investigate any other causes for the symptoms you are experiencing. This may include blood tests, xrays, scans and referrals to different medical specialities. If no other cause for your symptoms is found, then it may be assumed that long covid is the cause.

What is the treatment for long covid?

To date, there isn’t a specific treatment for long covid, and a plan will be formulated on a case by case basis. This may include advice on how to self-manage some symptoms, medication for certain symptoms, referrals to rehabilitation services, or referral to a specialist who manages the symptoms you are experiencing.

Find out more information from the link block below:

How long does it take to recover from long covid?

It’s very difficult to predict how long it will take to recover from long covid, as this varies a great deal from person to person. The clinician who assesses you will be able to discuss a realistic plan with you, to help you manage or improve your symptoms.

Last Updated: Thursday 16th March 2023 - 1:15:pm

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