Letters spelling out Long COVID

Rehabilitation services for local patients

Post Covid 

The number of people with Covid-19 symptoms that are lasting more than four weeks after first being diagnosed is increasing, so we are making sure we can provide the information that patients, their family and friends need.

Patients living in Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest who are experiencing symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and “brain fog” (feeling confused or unable to cope) will benefit from a range of support services which are now available.

If a patient is between four and 12 weeks they can refer to the information available in the ‘further information’ sections below or speak to their GP. 

What is Long COVID?

Long Covid refers to people with:

  • Acute COVID-19: signs and symptoms for up to four weeks.
  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID-19: signs and symptoms of COVID-19 from 4 to 12 weeks.
  • Post COVID-19 syndrome (Long COVID): signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis.

What are the symptoms?

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Breathlessness
  • Fast heart-beat
  • Widespread pain
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Pins and needles
  • Changes in tast and smell
  • Changes in sleep/difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory ("brain fog")

What do I do if I have symptoms?

The first step is to contact your GP. Please note that if your symptoms get worse, call 111 for more advice or for a medical emergency, dial 999 immediately.

Your GP will undertake further tests to rule out any other conditions first (it is really important to make sure your symptoms are not being caused by other conditions, for example cancer).

Depending on your test results, your GP may then refer you to our Long COVID services.

What support is available?

Long COVID support is available for all our local residents in north east London. We are working hard to make sure they can get access to these services. This includes providing training and guidance for our GPs too.

The support is made up of a range of services including: Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, General Practitioners, Rehabilitation Support Workers, Psychologically Trained Staff, Administrative Staff.

There is no quick fix for Long COVID and symptoms vary considerably from patient to patient. However, there are many positive stories of patients recovering from Long COVID and improving their quality of life.

Locally, this work has been developed with our hospital providers (Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust (BHRUT)), our community health provider (North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), our GPs and commissioners representing each local area across our boroughs.

The aim is that people suffering from Long Covid have access to the appropriate support they need to help them to recover fully. 

Long COVID videos translated into community languages to support residents to get the help they need

A suite of information videos, including in Gujarati, Bengali and Urdu have been produced to support our communities get the support they need to help them recover from Long Covid.

Long Covid is defined as signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, continue for more than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. It is diagnosed when these lasting symptoms cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis and the necessary tests have been completed to rule these out.

The videos can be accessed using the links below:




The untranslated version of the videos are available below:

The NHS across north east London encourages local people who have symptoms of Long Covid to see their GP to get the appropriate support.

Further Information

National resources

Helps patients to understand what has happened and what they might expect as part of their recovery. Has a range of information on wellbeing such as eating and sleeping well, getting moving again and managing daily activities.

A patient support group with a range of resources and patient stories.

Lancashire COVID Patient Support is a resource that has been developed by a group of multi-disciplinary health professionals at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. The purpose of the website is to support individuals with their initial recovery from COVID-19. It includes a range of exercises, advice and tips.

For people left with breathing difficulties after COVID-19, as well as their family members, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and researchers.

Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage due to Covid will be able to extend their mortgage payment holiday for a further three months, or start making reduced payments, in proposals published today.

North East London resources

A one-stop-shop of patient information and resources from Homerton. This includes fatigue management, physical activity and nutritional advice.

Respiratory information

Adult Pulse oximetry Monitoring Covid-19 Diary: This animation will inform you about COVID, how to measure your oxygen levels (using a pulse oximeter), what the danger signs to look out for are and when to seek urgent help.

Advice from the British Lung Foundation including what to do If you are breathless or need to clear your lungs.

Dietary information

The Patients Association Nutrition Checklist is a paper-based tool to identify potential risk of malnutrition (as undernutrition) and offers guidance, advice and signposting on next steps.

An overview with useful resources for patients and carers. Endorsed by the British Dietetic Association (BDA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN)

Loss of taste and smell

NHS advice on what you can do if you are suffering from loss of taste and smell.

Top tips to regaining taste and smell.

Fifth Sense is the charity dedicated to smell and taste disorders. We have spent many years developing resources and information services

Providing smell training support and resources.

Dealing with fatigue

Useful advice and resources on rehabilitation from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

Recovering from COVID-19: Post viral-fatigue and conserving energy – advice from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists

NHS advice on what you can do if you are suffering from fatigue

North East London Mental Health services

  • Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge, Waltham Forest: Call Talking Therapies on 0300 300 1554 or visit https://www.talkingtherapies.nelft.nhs.uk/. You can also contact Mental Health Direct on 0800 995 1000. 
  • City and Hackney: Call Talk Changes on 020 7683 4278 or visit www.talkchanges.org.uk If you need urgent help because you are worried that you might harm yourself or someone else, call the 24-hour City & Hackney crisis helpline on 0800 073 0006.
  • Newham: Call Talking Therapies on 020 8475 8080 or visit www.newhamtalkingtherapies.nhs.uk. Also contact the Newham Mental Health Crisis Line on freephone 0800 073 0066.
  • Tower Hamlets: Call Talking Therapies on 020 8475 8080 or visit https://towerhamletstalkingtherapies.nhs.uk/). You can also call the Tower Hamlets Mental Health Crisis Line on freephone 0800 073 0003. 
  • You can also access a whole range of online resources from Thrive LND on their Good Thinking website. 

Bereavement support

The government has produced some support for the bereaved which contains Information to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions. This has been translated into a number of different languages.

Thrive LND has put together a resource pack to support you if you are grieving the sudden death of someone close to you, or if you are supporting someone going through sudden bereavement. 

The Coroners' Courts Support Service has also produced a helpline leaflet and a bereavement support pack.

We have also produced a series of guidance packs to support people through the bereavement process, which is made even more challenging during the pandemic. There are three guides available, as follows:

How to prepare for the death of a friend or relative: helps people understand what to expect when someone is near the end of their life, provides tips on practical care and information on where to go for further support. 

What to do if a friend or relative dies: provides practical advice on areas such as arranging a funeral, looking after an individual’s personal affairs and caring for their pets. 

Where to go for bereavement support: a list of organisations for people to reach out for support at any stage of the grieving process. It includes national, local and specialist organisations, along with contact details. 

Barking and Dagenham local non-medical services

Havering local non-medical services


Redbridge local non-medical services


Waltham Forest local non-medical services