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Help for people with Long COVID

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Getting NHS treatment

A dedicated long COVID service has been set up in Bradford District and Craven, to specifically treat patients who are suffering with long COVID symptoms.

The service has been set up to be mainly online so that people can reach the service regardless of where they live in the district. We also run clinics for those who need face-to-face support.

The service has dedicated translators across over 85 different languages, including Punjabi, Urdu, Polish and Bengali.

How do I access the long COVID service?

Book an appointment with your GP and tell them about your symptoms. They will then refer you to the dedicated Bradford District and Craven Long COVID service. You do not need to have a positive COVID test result to get help.

What happens next?

  1. The long COVID team will contact you to complete a symptom questionnaire, which is done online via an app (telephone support will be given to those who are unable to complete online for whatever reason).
  2. You will be seen in clinic (in person) by a long COVID specialist so we can assess and better understand how Long COVID is affecting you and introduce you to the Bradford District & Craven long COVID service.
  3. You will attend an online “what you can expect from us” within our service session where we talk you through how long COVID affects people and how we can help you with our service.

What does treatment look like?

There are two different elements to treatment:

Self-care:
Patients initially join a 7 week course which is 1 hour per week online. This gives patients all the tools they need to start to manage their symptoms themselves at home, before moving onto…

Symptom specific therapy groups:
We run 18 different online therapy groups which are run by Long COVID specialist clinicians and help you to rehabilitate and see a reduction in symptoms, helping you to return back to normal life. You will work through as many therapy groups as you feel you need (one at once) in order to return back to health.

Self care advice

Rehabilitation from Long COVID is often much easier and quicker if you are able to support your recovery with ongoing self-care outside of your online therapy groups with our Long COVID specialists.

You can find some useful links for all aspects of Long COVID related self-care below.

Eating well

It is important to eat the right foods while you are recovering from Long COVID because this helps your body to have the fuel it needs get better and recover.

Read more about eating a balanced diet.

Sleeping well

After being unwell with COVID, you might notice that your sleep has changed and you might:

  • Find it hard to fall asleep
  • Keep waking up
  • Wake up earlier than usual and cannot get back to sleep
  • Wake up still feeling tired, as if you have not had any sleep

Read more about tiredness and fatigue, including things you can do to help.

Getting moving again

There are two different elements to treatment:

After a period of illness and inactivity, your muscles will be much weaker than normal, and you will be less fit than you were.

It is important to get back to your previous level of activity or aim to be more active than you are right now. This will take time and it is important to be patient with yourself. Read more about exercise.

Try adapted Tai Chi  (part 1) and adapted Tai Chi (part 2) on YouTube.

Managing daily activities

Your daily tasks are all the activities you do on a day to day basis. Ideally these tasks should include things youchoose to do or enjoy doing to improve your overall wellbeing.

After your COVID illness, you may have ongoing problems that make it more difficult than before to manage your daily tasks, such as: fatigue, breathlessness, feeling worried or stressed, finding it hard to focus.

For a few people, these problems can continue for many weeks and longer after their COVID illness. Understandably, this can be a particularly difficult time for you if you do not feel you are getting better.

These problems can affect how you manage your daily tasks, or you might find some tasks more difficult to do, such as: having a bath or shower, cleaning your home, cooking meals, walking upstairs, going shopping.

Useful links to help you manage daily activities:

Returning to work

Problems related to Long COVID can affect your day-to-day life and your ability to work. After being unwell with COVID, going back to work can be difficult and it may take a long time before you feel ready.

If long COVID is having an impact on your usual ability to manage your work or caring role, discuss this with your doctor and employer.

Community support

Community support is available to help with a range of Long COVID symptoms.

Visit Living Well to find support for mental health, eating well, getting active and much more in Bradford District.