Health Minister announces launch of services for patients with Post Covid-19 syndrome (PCS)
Health Minister Robin Swann has launched the first dedicated assessment and treatment services for patients with post Covid-19 syndrome in Northern Ireland.
From today, one-stop-shop multidisciplinary assessment clinics will be accepting referrals for post-Covid-19 syndrome in all Trust areas.
The Minister said: “Establishing dedicated services for the assessment and treatment of Post-Covid-19 syndrome patients has been a priority for me. Many people are suffering long term effects of Covid-19 and these clinics will offer services across multiple disciplines including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing.
The clinics will allow people to have a comprehensive assessment of their condition and will help them access the services and expert advice they need to support them in their recovery.”
Clinics will refer patients on to other services where appropriate, and will provide patients with advice on how to manage their condition to aid recovery.
Concluding the Minister said: “The multidisciplinary clinics are one element of a suite of services being established for post Covid19 patients. Work is well advanced on other services including a bespoke pulmonary rehabilitation / dysfunctional breathing service for patients with significant respiratory symptoms post COVID19.
“I will continue to review services on an ongoing basis to ensure the best possible help and advice is available from those suffering from post Covid19 symptoms.”
Patients must be referred to the clinic by their GP or hospital consultant.
Clinics are open to patients if their GP considers their symptoms are due to PCS, irrespective of whether or not they had a positive PCR.
In line with NICE guidance, post-Covid syndrome is defined as patients who have experienced symptoms for more than 12 weeks. Patients may however be referred to the service earlier, at the discretion of their attending clinician.
The MDT clinic is one element of the suite of services that are being established for post-Covid-19 patients. Other elements include:
• Bespoke pulmonary rehabilitation / dysfunctional breathing service for patients with significant respiratory symptoms post COVID-19;
• Additional support for patients discharged from critical care (both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19); • Strengthening psychology support to all Trusts; and,
• Signposting and access to self-management resources.