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New 'long Covid' clinic opens at Lymington hospital

The service at Lymington hospital is by referral only
The service at Lymington hospital is by referral only

LYMINGTON hospital has a new clinic for people suffering from so-called “long Covid” months after contracting the virus.

The service, which is referral only and cannot offer walk-in appointments, is one of several launched across Hampshire by NHS groups including Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Most people recover relatively quickly from Covid-19, but research has shown that around one in 10 can be left feeling seriously unwell long term.

Symptoms of long Covid include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety, depression, palpitations, chest, joint or muscle pains and brain fog.

Robin Harlow is clinical director for primary care development at Southern Health, which runs Lymington hospital. He said: “We are delighted to be working with our NHS colleagues to deliver this service and support those who are experiencing the symptoms of long Covid.

“While we have learned lots about Covid-19, we are still yet to learn more about its long-term effects that we know can be debilitating even for young, fit people or those who did not go to hospital.

“These new clinics not only give us an opportunity to support those in need but will also help us learn more about long Covid and find new ways to help people affected by it.”

People in the area who are still feeling ill 12 weeks after first contracting the virus are asked to check their symptoms against a list on an NHS website before calling their GP to ask if they need to be referred.

Before being accepted at the clinic they will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a number of physical, cognitive and psychological assessments. Appointments are held virtually unless staff feel a patient is so unwell that they need to be seen face-to-face.

A support plan will be created by medical staff. They will also be signposted to existing Long Covid support services and will have access to the ‘Living with Covid’ app.

Solent NHS Trust is another of the bodies taking part in the initiative. Its clinical director, Dr Hayden Kirk, said: “We know it is vital that people with long Covid get the support they need.

“Through our partnership working within the NHS, we will be able to draw on existing specialist services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in a co-ordinated manner to address every persons individual needs to ensure they can benefit from a wide range of specialist advice.”

To check long Covid symptoms visit www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk

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