Last week I was invited over to Fleetwood Hospital to meet with Lauren and Helen from the Long COVID Service that covers Wyre, Fylde and Blackpool. Long COVID is a condition where individuals who have recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 continue to experience a wide range of symptoms for an extended period of time afterward.
From speaking with Lauren and Helen it is clear that, having a Long COVID Service has been a lifeline for so many sufferers across our community. It’s a place of hope and healing where dedicated healthcare professionals work hard to help people regain their lives. I can’t stress enough how crucial this service is, and how it’s making such a huge difference in people’s lives.
Long COVID can be totally debilitating. Symptoms range from fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle pain and weakness, poor sleep, low mood, a persistent cough, changes in smell and taste to prolonged headaches and brain fog. It is a daily battle. This condition can affect anyone, Lauren and Helen tell me that a high proportion of their patients were extremely high functioning, active people that have had to change every aspect of their lives and it can be a truly isolating experience. The Long COVID Clinic offers patients hope, providing tailored support plans to help individuals get back to work and to adapt to their new normal.
Whilst I remain optimistic in hope that we never have to live through the horrors of the pandemic again, we must remain vigilant. Recently, there has been a surge in COVID cases, with a new variant making its way through the population. The winter months and flu-season is quickly looming ahead and frankly, despite the incredible advances in modern medicine, the long-term consequence of the virus is still unclear. That’s why the Long COVID Clinic remains a necessity for our community, and we need a commitment from the government that funding will remain in place for these services across the country.
If you think that you might be experiencing symptoms of Long COVID, please reach out to your GP and ask about being referred to the Long COVID Service. The sooner you seek help, the better your chances of managing the condition and reclaiming your life. Remember, you’re not alone, and there is support available.
During my visit, I was deeply impressed by the dedicated team at the Long COVID Clinic. Their compassion, expertise, and commitment to improving lives is remarkable. These healthcare heroes deserve our recognition and gratitude for the incredible work that they do every day.