The recent £ 5m announcement to tackle “Long Covid” in Wales has been questioned by patients in this condition because they feel they are not spending the right type of treatment.
Longcovid is a debilitating condition that leaves patients with a variety of conditions and symptoms after Covid-19 infection. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, malaise, palpitation, weakness, “brain fog”, and kidney problems.
In Wales, an estimated 56,000 people suffer from long covids, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
About 1,000 of these belong to a group called Long Covid Wales, a patient support network that includes medical professionals.
It was this group that asked for more work. “Pounds 5 million isn’t a big deal,” said Georgia, one of the members of the group.
“In the UK, they are raising their fourth or fifth round of funding to support Longcovid.
“Funding in Wales is directed to the GP to help them notice the signs and symptoms of long covid.”
When the funding was announced, the Welsh government said it would move in the next direction.
- We help healthcare professionals develop the infrastructure to flexibly provide services that help them recover from Long Covid.
- We provide high quality evidence-based training and digital resources to assist in the diagnosis, investigation and treatment of Longcovid.
- Invest in digital tools that provide data on service demand and capacity modeling and ensure that the NHS helps people make the right treatment decisions.
The group has called for the establishment of a Long Covid Clinic in Wales. They believe this is beneficial for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
What is Britain’s stance on Longcovid?
In the UK, there are several different treatments for Longcovid that have different effects.
“There are nearly 100 clinics in the UK, and there are also online groups that offer a more holistic and educational approach,” said Georgia. “But people in those online groups say that much of what is taught is common sense and is already done by most people.
“The gold standard clinic we want the Government of Wales to pay attention to is UCLH (University College London Hospitals). It’s the best clinic in the UK to support Longcovid. They were brought by Covid. We run an interdisciplinary clinic that provides diagnosis of individual conditions. ”
The clinic was started in May 2020 by clinic leader and integrated pulmonologist Melissa Heightman, and more than 1,000 appointments were made between May and October of that year. The clinic runs three times a week and is attended by physiotherapists, respiratory physiologists, psychologists, cardiologists, neurologists and infectious disease doctors.
Ms. Heitmann said:
“We sought to meet the needs of patients when they had difficulty accessing health care and the complications after Covid-19 were not well understood.
“From the beginning, we have accepted referrals from primary care and provided follow-up to patients discharged from our emergency department. These patients are evaluated in the same way as patients discharged from our hospital.
“Whenever possible, we aim to provide a one-stop assessment by physicians and therapists with access to diagnostics and exercise tests.”
Toby Hillman, a pulmonologist at the clinic, said:
“We have worked closely with relevant medical professionals to understand the nature of the support patients need and the safety of engaging in it. We have been working closely with relevant medical professionals for a long time after Covid-19. We are increasingly concerned about the severity and nature of our symptoms, and we feel the need to understand these mechanisms and treat them more appropriately.
“Affected patients are often of working age and their quality of life is severely affected. Many are NHS staff who struggle to access proper care through regular routes.”
In a clinical assessment at UCLH’s Long Covid Clinic, a physiotherapist assesses unexplained shortness of breath and malaise and screens for the need for other rehabilitation. The physiotherapy team will treat patients with respiratory pattern disorders identified after Covid-19, work closely with community services to gain understanding and connect patients to appropriate rehabilitation.
Suji Yathindra is a patient who has experienced the UCLH Clinic and admits to them that he helped him get back on track. A 45-year-old doctor was working on a pandemic in the emergency department. He stayed in a hotel away from his family and was able to work without fear of infecting his family.
In mid-May 2020, he developed Covid-19 symptoms and was evaluated in his own hospital and other hospitals, and the study returned normal results. He was so sick that he was under a lot of stress, but there was no identifiable reason for his illness.
He had to take a break from work because he was too tired to do CPR. The UCLH Clinic has performed several tests to reveal an abnormal physiological response to exercise. He has a rehabilitation plan and further investigations were planned to further characterize the condition.
Yathindra said: The team understood how frustrating I was and helped me get back on track. They organized an exercise routine and encouraged me through my return journey. They continue to organize research to find possible treatments for my ongoing muscle pain and are in regular contact with me for useful solutions.
“Without the clinic, I don’t know if I could get back to work.”
The clinic is currently expanding into three separate clinics for patients with long covids. The main clinic is the Department of Respiratory Medicine, and there is also a clinic specializing in neurological complaints and anosmia.
What is the Welsh Long Covid Treatment?
Currently, Wales does not offer clinics or groups for patients with long covids.
According to members of Longcovid Wales, people in this state are talking to the GP-may not have the necessary expertise on the topic-because they may not have been hospitalized in Covid-19. You are treating an early illness, dismissing the symptom as something else, or the current symptom, but not seeing the cause.
Dr. Ian Freiling, Chairman of the Association of Clinical Pathologists at Cardiff University’s Hereditary Paraneoplastic Syndrome Research Group and Emeritus Senior Clinical Research Fellow, commented on the funding announced for the fight against Longcovid in Wales: It states that. They do not specifically fund primary care, namely consultant clinics or surveys in hospitals. This fits their policy of keeping Long Covid away from the hospital, but is worthy of treatment as well as those who are late in diagnosing cancer, hip replacement, etc. Our bad luck is at the end of the line and they want us to leave. ”
Many videos have been produced that provide guidance for the GP, but longcovid Welsh medical professionals find them completely useless and have almost completely eliminated their symptoms.
In one of the videos watched by ArgusPsychologist Owen Hughes explains that Long Covid people suffer from chronic fatigue, but considers symptoms unrelated to chronic fatigue such as myocarditis, endocrine deficiency, and blood clotting. Is not …
The video also points out that anxiety and depression can discourage patients from recovering. This is being argued by Dr. Freiling.
Dr. Freiling, who himself suffers from long covids, said: , And meeting a good doctor like Helen Davis and being properly investigated and diagnosed really makes it all better. ”
Dr. Freiling also emphasizes how this is a new disease that is not fully understood. He said people with hormonal and heart problems are not presenting in the “normal” way for the GP. That’s why this policy is surprisingly dangerous and stupid. ”
Members of the Longcovid Welsh Group have met with the Welsh government, but feel that their concerns and suggestions have not been acknowledged and no further meetings have been offered since.
Will the Long Covid Clinic work in Wales?
Dr. Frayling saw Dr. Helen Davies at Llandough and University Hospital in Cardiff after seeing the GP associated with his condition. He visited Leeds’ Long Covid Clinic to learn and hear about Dr. Davis, who made an appointment with her.
“Even if you weren’t as lucky as a hospital consultant would, you would have been walking around with a blood clot in your brain, like many others,” he said.
“What surprised my GP and senior neurologist when I told them my diagnosis was that I didn’t have the” danger signal “symptoms of a headache. I simply had “standard” brain fog, sleep disorders, and other neurological problems. This raises the question of how many others have not been diagnosed or treated.
“In addition, if the current policies are followed, will there be any diagnosis or treatment?”
The Stroke Association has been conducting research on the Covid virus and stroke risk since March 2020.
The rate of stroke after Covid is about 1/50.
Dr. Rubyna Ahmed, Principal Investigator of the Stroke Association, said:
“In addition, people with stroke and Covid-19 may be younger than expected. People who live with the devastating effects of stroke if Covid-19 patients are not properly treated. May increase. Stroke risk. ”
The fact that Dr. Freiling was able to meet a consultant with knowledge of the Longcovid Clinic in Cardiff shows that the clinic may work. There are about 100 clinics in the UK, which have proven to be successful across borders. Some Welsh patients are traveling to participate in trials at some of these UK clinics to receive some form of diagnosis and treatment.
In the UK, there is a referral system performed by a general practitioner, which can be requested by the patient himself when discussing with the general practitioner. Some offer self-introductions.
Adopting this policy does not require much extra work for the doctor, as the GP has a referral system in place to refer experts to other conditions.
The problem is funding, which can overwhelm the NHS and can lead to a shortage of staff to run the clinic.
If a portion of the £ 5 million given to educate the frontline GP on the signs of long covid is diverted to the creation of a clinic, more detailed investigation of the onset of symptoms will be possible and the group will benefit. I believe it exceeds the cost.
Georgia states: Having an expert on a particular problem, such as respiratory condition, can help you scrutinize and resolve the problem. In other words, more people will be on the path to recovery faster. ”
Longcovid: Calls Wales to follow England at the clinic
SourceLongcovid: Calls Wales to follow England at the clinic