Community groups across Hackney and the City of London have been awarded a total of £70,000 to help people living with Long Covid make a full and lasting recovery.
The funding is designed to empower local voluntary sector organisations to raise public awareness about Long Covid and its symptoms, signpost people to the support available to them and promote self-advocacy among the affected communities. One of the key aims is to encourage those who think they have lasting effects from COVID-19 to seek help from their GP and request referral to the specialist NHS post-Covid service. This will ensure they can be fully assessed and receive the necessary rehabilitation support.
A spokesperson for Hoxton Health, one of the seven groups to receive grants worth up to £10,000, said:
“We hope to use this funding to help older members of the community we work closely with be more aware of Long Covid as a condition.
“There are still many residents in City and Hackney who are suffering from the symptoms of Long Covid and are unaware of the support available.
“We hope to play our part in ensuring residents are better informed about the condition and know where to get the support they need.”
Dr Stephanie Coughlin, a local GP and Clinical Director, City & Hackney Place Based Partnership, said:
“If you have symptoms of Long Covid, you may find there is an impact on your day-to-day activities, including the ability to work, which directly affects your quality of life. Therefore, it’s important to get the support you need.
“My advice for anyone who suspects they may have Long Covid would be to go and see your GP so you can be checked out. They will do a range of tests to see if the symptoms can be explained by any other illnesses or conditions.
“If these can be ruled out, you may be referred to our local Long Covid services where you can get the right physical and mental health support.”
City and Hackney Covid Rehabilitation (CoRe) service has undertaken substantial work over the past year to understand the potential unmet need for specialist support among local people living with Long Covid, particularly within under-represented communities.
The service is keen to raise awareness of the condition, the impact of associated symptoms and the ways those affected most can access the support they need.
The funding, awarded to seven local organisations, was secured by the CoRe service and Homerton Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s fundraising department from NHS Charities Together to build community partnerships within the voluntary sector focusing on Long Covid.
Long Covid is defined by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence as “signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19 and continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis”.
Symptoms can vary from person to person and may fluctuate over time. They include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle ache
- Difficulty concentrating/memory loss/confusion
- Loss of smell or taste
- Trouble sleeping
- Fast heart rate
Specialist NHS help is available for people with Long Covid in Hackney and the City of London. For more information on Long Covid and the support available locally, read or download the leaflet on the Homerton Hospital website.