Long Covid – the term used to describe lasting symptoms following a Covid-19 infection – is a complex condition with a range of symptoms including breathlessness, persistent cough, extreme fatigue, brain fog and muscle aches. Research from the British Lung Foundation shows that many people living with Long Covid face a ‘dead-end’ when it comes to accessing support for their symptoms. They are often disbelieved or disregarded by healthcare professionals who struggle to understand their condition. The new online assessment tool is designed to help people feel better supported in managing the effects of Long Covid and improve access to support services from the NHS and charities like covid:aid.
Being a Covid-19 charity that supports people with Long Covid means we know a lack of understanding in this condition causes frustration. It impacts patients coming to terms with their sudden change in health as well as GPs trying to diagnose this new illness. covid:aid shared the knowledge of our community’s experiences in the development of the My Long COVID Needs tool, testing to ensure it meets the diverse needs of its users.
My Long COVID Needs works by asking people to input information about their physical symptoms, practical and emotional concerns and how these factors impact their everyday lives. Their responses then generate useful advice and links to relevant support services and automates a digital report for users to share with their GP or healthcare professional during their next visit.
Michael MacLennan, founder and CEO of covid:aid said, "We were delighted to be part of the Working Group which helped the British Lung Foundation deliver My Long COVID Needs. The need for support around Long Covid is greater than ever, and we know from our own volunteers and community how frustrating it has been getting the right type of help – and having to retell their stories over and over again to various healthcare professionals. We hope that this assessment tool will be used positively and be beneficial for patients as well as those seeking to provide support."
Amanda Watson, NHSE Long Covid Project Lead at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said, “Long Covid has forced many of the million people living with the condition to put their lives on pause while they tackle multiple disabling symptoms like persistent breathlessness. The My Long Covid Needs tool offers vital advice and support for people as they navigate their way through this new and unpredictable condition, and provides patients with an easy-to-read report that they can share with their doctor. We’d encourage anyone experiencing Long Covid to visit the tool and for healthcare professionals to share this resource with their patients:.”
covid:aid continues to support people with Long Covid and others affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Our Covid-19 Support Community provides a platform for users to engage with others and share their experiences of the condition, while our Courses and Long Covid webpage provide useful tips and information on how to manage symptoms like fatigue and smell disorders.