More than 100 people with long COVID in Richmond are already benefiting from a new service offering them therapy.
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare’s Long COVID Service has helped 101 people living in Richmond since launching in November last year.
Patients had 424 follow-up appointments to the end of May 2022, via a combination of online, email, phone, face to face, and group sessions.
The service, run in conjunction with Richmond primary care networks of GP practices and Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, ensures people get therapy in the best place for them.
That can be either as an outpatient at Richmond Rehabilitation Unit, at home or in an online video or telephone consultation.
The service is also supported by Richmond Wellbeing Service, so local residents benefit from an all-round approach to addressing their physical and mental health.
Long COVID symptoms are wide ranging and fluctuating, and include severe fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, muscle aches, brain fog, and heart rate changes.
The service helps people manage their long COVID symptoms, learn how to cope when their brain is not processing properly and get the right amount of rest. The team can also give advice on sleep, diet, mood and exercise.
Following an initial assessment, long COVID patients are given a personalised plan to address their concerns and reach their goals, with treatment offered one to one and in groups.
Service lead and occupational therapist Roisin Hyde said: “We support people who struggle to carry out everyday activities because of the after-effects of COVID-19.
“Long COVID symptoms are wide ranging and can come and go. They include severe fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, muscle aches, brain fog and heart rate changes. Our patients have their therapy in the best place for them – either as an outpatient at Richmond Rehabilitation Unit, in an online video call or telephone consultation, or at home.”
Jim Millard, a councillor at Richmond Council, describes his experiences of long COVID in a video – https://youtu.be/d6yXya8I2-k.
One grateful patient wrote to say thank you to Roisin: “You guys are awesome and the way you’re listening and caring for us is excellent and I can say that this way of care is something which I have never experienced and it is very much appreciated. If you didn’t create such a safe environment for us, I doubt I would have been able to speak openly about how I felt.
“The fact that you are willing to listen to us only means that you really want to help and this is something we hardly have nowadays. We are all traumatised from the non-believers and because we were left alone for so long, so these Fridays are always rays of hope for me that something is finally changing for us. I just wish everybody was like you.”
If you are an adult registered with a Richmond GP practice, they or another health professional can refer you to the service.
Further information and useful links: