People in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being asked to take part in a survey to find out how much they know about long Covid, so that more people with symptoms can be offered support.
The Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board (LLR ICB), have developed a survey to establish the awareness amongst local people of the long-term effects of Covid. This includes questions about support and services related to Covid. The information collected will be used to help make decisions about what can be done to improve local services.
Dr Louise Ryan, GP and clinical lead for respiratory services at the LLR ICB, said: “We think that there could be quite a lot of people suffering from long-term effects of having Covid who have not come forward for help.
“Since April 2020 1,566 patients in LLR have been diagnosed with long Covid and this only represents 0.15% of the population; but according to national estimates we would expect more than 10 times as many people (around 1.65% of the population) to have long Covid.
“We want to understand how much people know about the symptoms of long Covid and why they might not be coming forward with symptoms. We also want to develop our existing service for these patients, as if we can identify more people with the condition, we want to be able to provide them with a service that they can easily access, closer to home.”
The term ‘long Covid’ covers two types of illness – symptoms from Covid that last 5 to 12 weeks after infection, and post-Covid syndrome which is where symptoms continue after 12 weeks or more. Post-Covid syndrome is associated with a wide range of different symptoms affecting physical, psychological and cognitive health. It can also have an effect on quality of life and the ability to work or study.
Dr Ryan added: “Long Covid is a new condition which we still have much to learn about. As well as the more well-known symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath, it can also cause a whole host of diverse symptoms including memory difficulties, tummy problems, insomnia, depression, dizziness and joint pain. This can make it hard to identify and we want to work together across the health service and with patients, to help raise awareness and offer more support.
“We would really encourage everyone to complete this survey; not only if you have had Covid and are still experiencing symptoms, but for others too, so that we can assess the level of people’s understanding of this condition.”
The survey is available online at: https://llrnhs.questionpro.eu/t/AB3uqrqZB3vTOV.
Printed copies are also available in health centres across LLR or on request by emailing:
email@example.com or calling 0116 295 3405.
The survey is open until 19 February 2023.
People can protect themselves from the serious effects of Covid by keeping up to date with their Covid vaccinations, more information is available at: https://leicesterleicestershireandrutland.icb.nhs.uk/your-health/vaccinations/