Information for patients, relatives and carers
What is post-COVID syndrome?
Some people who contract COVID-19 will have ongoing symptoms of the illness for 4-12 weeks, known as long-COVID. However, around one in ten people have persistent symptoms which last for 12 weeks or more. This is known as post-COVID syndrome (PCS), and it can have a serious impact on someone’s quality of life, their relationships and their ability to work.
There are a large number of symptoms associated with PCS.
Some of the most common include:
- brain ‘fog’
- pain in the joints or chest.
PCS affects people of all ages, men and women. You don’t have to have had a particularly severe case of COVID-19, or have been hospitalised, to suffer long-term effects.
How can I get help?
If you have had symptoms of COVID-19 for 12 weeks or more, you should contact your GP. Any member from the clinical team at your GP practice can refer you to Dorset Post Covid Service, not just your GP.
They will carry out a series of tests to rule out other causes for your symptoms and your symptoms are not explained by a different diagnosis they may refer you to the PCS service for specialist support and guidance. If you are suffering from chest pains or severe breathlessness, please contact your GP or NHS 111 as soon as possible.
What support does the PCS service provide?
PCS staff will undertake a more in-depth holistic assessment of your symptoms and the impact these have on your life. This will usually be carried out either online or over the phone Your case will then be considered by a team of healthcare professionals to agree a personalised plan for you. You will hear from us initially via email or a letter and then an allocated case manager will contact you to discuss the plan, make sure it suits your needs and will oversee your care.
The Team comprises of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, vocational therapist, psychological wellbeing practitioner, speech and language therapist and assessor case managers and is supported by two GPs.
Self-care and support for long-term recovery
We follow clear pathways to provide self-management advice and support and rehabilitation where necessary, to improve your recovery and symptom management. Our service provides rehabilitation for:
- respiratory physiotherapy
- speech and language
- psychological wellbeing
- brain fog
- fatigue management
- MSK physiotherapy
- vocational therapy (support for managing symptoms in work)
When appropriate, we may ask your GP to provide treatment for some symptoms or we may provide onwards referrals to services such as other NHS departments, Adult Social Care, Community groups or external services that have arisen for people with PCS such as Ki Active, The Hope Programme and the English National Opera- Breathe Programme.
The length of time and rehabilitation needed to recover from the virus will vary from person to person. It’s important not to compare yourself to others and on-going symptoms can last for several months after you contract COVID-19.