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Southern Trust set up support service for patients with post Covid-19 syndrome

Dawn Donnelly (left) and Nicola Givans (right) with patients

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is now offering a new dedicated assessment and treatment service for people with post COVID-19 syndrome.

The service aims to support those with longer-term physical or mental health symptoms, lasting more than 12 weeks since infection.

Since it started in October, the one-stop-shop clinic has supported 312 patients referred by their GP or hospital consultant.

After an assessment by the team including Specialist GP, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy professionals, patients are offered expert advice and may be referred to other services as needed to manage symptoms and help their recovery.

A personalised service focussed on respiratory rehabilitation and dysfunctional breathing, is also being set up for patients with significant symptoms post COVID-19. A Specialist Nurse and Physiotherapist will offer support with assessment, rehabilitation and self-management of symptoms.

Welcoming the new service, Brian Beattie Interim Director of Older People and Primary Care said: “The introduction of a dedicated assessment and treatment service is a much appreciated boost for the many people who we know are experiencing long term symptoms from COVID-19.

“This has been a very exciting opportunity for this dedicated team who are absolutely committed to supporting those with post COVID-19 syndrome with their recovery and hopefully help them to return to their normal activities and lifestyle.”

Plans are currently underway to develop the service further by offering respiratory diagnostic tests, Psychology, Nutrition and Dietetic and Speech and Language Therapy support.

The team is now aiming to provide specialised support for the many patients who are reporting fatigue as a main symptom.

They also hope to offer rehabilitation support to patients discharged from critical care both with COVID-19 and non-COVID symptoms.

If you suspect you have post COVID-19 syndrome, please contact your GP or hospital consultant who can organise referral to the service if appropriate.

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