Our service was established in September 2020 to provide rehabilitation for people who are experiencing new, long lasting problems 12 weeks or more after a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection which are significantly impacting their daily life. This is also known as Long COVID.
Common Long COVID symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Aches and Pain
Poor concentration and memory problems (brain fog)
Your GP is required to make the diagnosis of Long COVID after excluding other potential causes for your symptoms.
This service provides a predominantly therapy-based approach to help with symptom self-management. As yet there are no drugs or medical treatments recommended specifically to treat Long COVID. There is ongoing research into this area but as this is a new condition this is the current national advice. With this approach we are generally seeing steady improvements in symptoms. Sometimes certain drugs can be helpful for specific symptoms, but this is generally not the mainstay of treatment.
The team consists of Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, Rehabilitation Assistants, Doctor and Psychological therapists. Should your symptoms require medical discussion our team is supported by medical specialists from Cardiology, Respiratory and Rehabilitation Medicine who they can discuss your symptoms with. Please note this is often to support safe rehabilitation or to exclude other potential underlying causes of symptoms that we may require your GP to further investigate.
What can I expect next?
You will receive a text to advise we have received your referral. When we have availability you will be sent an opt in letter requiring you to call the team and they will then send you questionnaires to complete as soon as possible as this is used to help us better understand your symptoms and establish how the team can support you. Once you have completed and returned the questionnaires, you will have an initial telephone contact with our triage team to discuss your Long COVID symptoms and the main problems you are experiencing as a result.
Following this call, you may be offered an appointment at one of three clinics in Leeds (Chapeltown, Armley and Yeadon) in which a set of observations and measures are taken (i.e. blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, plus some tests specific to Long COVID). You will then be offered another clinic appointment with a Therapist to complete an assessment and discuss your rehabilitation goals.
If you are unable to attend a clinic appointment, we do offer home visits for housebound patients.
We offer face to face, telephone or virtual appointments to suit your needs.
We also run a group virtual symptom management programme. This provides both an education component and rehabilitation strategies for common Long COVID symptoms plus an opportunity to discuss your symptoms with other people with Long COVID.
We aim to help and support you during this time and hope you will engage with us by putting the strategies taught by our therapists into place to enhance your recovery.
Our team is closely linked with active research happening into Long COVID and we will offer you opportunities to be involved in research studies if you choose to.
Whilst you are awaiting your initial telephone contact the following resources may be helpful and please liaise back with your GP should any urgent or new problems arise.
Further support and information
Overview of post COVID symptoms and self-management advice
Support for mental wellbeing:
- Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LCH) - www.leedscommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services-a-z/leedsmental-
- Mindwell - www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk Tel: 0113 843 4388
Free, confidential, impartial advice and support on a whole range of welfare benefits
www.leeds.gov.uk/benefits/welfare-rights Tel: 0113 376 0452
Citizens Advice to assist people with legal, debt, consumer, housing and other problems:
www.citizensadviceleeds.org.uk Tel: 08082 787878
Support for carers:
If you have caring responsibilities for a family member/friend, such as helping with finances, personal care and domestic tasks, we appreciate that this can be stressful at times. If you, or someone who is caring for you, would like some information or support please contact Carers Leeds Advice Line on 0113 380 4305 and have a look at www.carersleeds.org.uk