By Lucy Ashton
Patients in the local health board area, Scotland’s largest, are benefiting from a new service which is backed by the Scottish Government’s Long COVID Support Fund.
The service is supported by £595,000 of Scottish Government funding over 2023-24 and is one of a number of projects across the country which are backed by the £10 million fund.
The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Long COVID service sees a team of advanced practitioner occupational therapists, physiotherapists and health care support workers offer advice on managing and improving the symptoms of the condition.
It has had more than 340 referrals since it opened three months ago, with people offered appointments in a way that best suits them – by video or telephone, or in-person at a clinic, or at home. An expansion is planned to include a paediatric occupational therapist for children and young people.
During a visit to meet staff at the Glasgow service, Health Secretary Michael Matheson, pictured right, said: “I recognise the significant impact that the symptoms of long COVID can have on those most severely affected.
“I was very pleased to meet the range of professionals involved in NHS GGC’s long COVID service and hear how the funding we have made available is enabling them to provide advice and support to people living with the condition to improve their quality of life.
“Thanks to the hard work of staff, this service – and others like it across Scotland – are providing invaluable support and treatment through rehabilitation therapies and other strategies.”
Long Covid Service user Caitlin Hamlett said: “I can’t thank the team at the Long Covid Service enough for the help and support they have provided through the duration of my time using the service.
“Living with the symptoms of Long COVID can be extremely difficult and exhausting. The service has provided a lifeline in my rehabilitation both physically and mentally. The compassion and knowledge of the staff has given me a clear direction for managing my symptoms on the path to recovery, and I am extremely grateful for the help I have received.
“I would urge anyone who is living with Long COVID to reach out to their GP who can refer you to the service, where you will be able to connect with others in a similar position to you.”
NHS GGC Director of Allied Health Professions Fiona Smith said: “We are committed to providing the best possible patient care and the long COVID service is a huge step in supporting people who are impacted by the longer lasting effects of Covid-19.
“Living with long COVID can be extremely challenging and the service aims to provide support for patients and their families to ensure they have access to the best resources to improve the quality of their lives.
“I would like to thank all the staff at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the individual Health and Care Social Partnerships for their help and assistance in the development of the service.”
|Organisation / activity||Total available funding 2023-24|
|NHS Ayrshire and Arran||£187,554|
|NHS Dumfries and Galloway||£79,426|
|NHS Forth Valley||£142,020|
|NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde||£595,169|
|NHS Western Isles||£19,988|
|NHS National Services Scotland||£305,916|
|Development of NHS Inform long COVID microsite||£20,000|