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. 

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

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. For these videos, please visit our Long COVID resources page.

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.