Residents of Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus can seek assistance with their recovery thanks to Mersey Care’s Long COVID Service.

Mersey Care’s Tier 3 Long COVID Assessment and Treatment Service is open in all four areas to help people who have had COVID-19. At clinics, people can be seen by different members of the team. Each patient will have different issues and the aim is for them to see the right people to help meet their needs.

Members of each team include a GP, community matron (a very experienced nurse) or a care coordinator, occupational therapist, social prescriber, psychologist, and pulmonary rehab physiotherapist.

Phil Cumberlidge, a GP and a member of Mersey Care’s Long COVID service, said: “Our focus is on rehabilitation and support. We aim to help patients regain a normal life.”

Since opening, the service has received 1,337 referrals with 209 patients assessed within six days of the service receiving the referral. Many patients have been successfully referred onto intermediate, social or community care.

Referrals to clinic are by GP only and clinics are designed to help people who still have symptoms related to a COVID infection after 12 weeks. The aim of the clinic is to identify what symptoms a person is experiencing and how this is affecting them day to day. The service helps them find resources and/or treatments to manage these symptoms effectively so they can rehabilitate to living a fulfilling life.

Teams are keen to share decision making as there may be choices available regarding whether to have treatment, which treatment to choose, and whether treatment should be continued. They need to know what is important to the patient so that they can help them make the right decision about their healthcare.

Symptoms of Long COVID include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety and depression, palpitations, chest pains, joint or muscle pain, not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’), dizziness, persistent cough, loss of taste or sense of smell.

If you think you have, or know someone who may have Long COVID, and you live in Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens or Knowsley, speak to your GP and ask to be referred to the service.

Further information about the service can be found on Mersey Care’s website.

For further information please contact: Myles Hodgson, Media Manager, 0151 473 2797 [email protected] or Communications on 0151 471 2336.

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