December 18, 2020 10.35 am This story is over 41 months old

Long term COVID-19 patients to get specialist help at North Lincolnshire hospitals

One of just 69 trusts in England to be picked

By Local Democracy Reporter

Hospitals in Grimsby and Scunthorpe have been picked to offer specialist support to patients suffering with long term symptoms of COVID-19.

New research has found that one in five people who test positive for the virus develop longer symptoms, with around 186,000 people nationally suffering problems for up to 12 weeks, according to the Office for National Statistics.

North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which controls Scunthorpe General Hospital, Goole and District Hospital and Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, is one of just 69 trusts in England to be chosen.

The trusts will use assessment centres to take referrals from GPs for people experiencing breathlessness, fatigue, depression and other debilitating symptoms of coronavirus.

These centres will bring doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists together to offer both physical and psychological assessments to patients.

This allows for each patient to be referred to the treatment service relevant to their individual case.

Patients will only be able to access the services if they are referred by a GP or another healthcare professional.

NHS England provided £10 million for the network of clinics across the country, and they began opening last month.

A further 12 sites are set to be included in the project across England in January, though it is unsure if United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will be a part of the next wave of trusts.

Shaun Stacey, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust, said: “For some patients having COVID-19 can impact them and their health for a long time beyond their initial recovery.

“So we have started to work with those patients who need our help beyond their stay in hospital using existing services to support them.

“ Our staff in many specialities, such as respiratory, cardiology and critical care, have been working with community nursing and other partners like GPs to put support in place to help these patients on their long road to getting well again.

“We want to build on this work and bring in other specialists too, mental health workers for example, to make sure we can provide the best possible care and treatments to help these patients make a full recovery from this terrible virus.”