Public Health

06.07.20

NHS to launch online coronavirus rehabilitation service

Sir Simon Stevens has announced the launch of a new on-demand recovery service to support the tens of thousands of people who are suffering long-terms effects of coronavirus, delivered either online or over the phone by doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

The new ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service forms part of plans to expand access to Covid-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still face problems with breathing, mental health problems or other complications.

The service’s launch follows the building of a new Seacole rehabilitation centre to help those most seriously affected by the deadly virus, with similar facilities expected to open across the country.

Patients who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus will have access to a face-to-face consultation with their local rehabilitation team, usually comprising of physiotherapists, nurses and mental health specialists. Following this initial assessment, those who need it will be offered a personalised package of online-based aftercare lasting up to 12 weeks, available later this summer.

Accessible on-demand, from the comfort of their own home, this will include:

  • Access to a local clinical team including nurses and physiotherapists who can respond either online or over the phone to any enquiries from patients;
  • An online peer-support community for survivors – particularly helpful for those who may be recovering at home alone;
  • Exercise tutorials that people can do from home to help them regain muscle strength and lung function in particular, and;
  • Mental health support, which may include a psychologist within the online hub or referral into NHS mental health services along with information on what to expect post-Covid.

Sir Stevens hailed the new service as a great example of how the health service is increasingly harnessing technology and innovation to enhance the face to face care that doctors, nurses, therapists and other staff can provide in a safe and convenient way.

Sir Stevens explained: “Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge in the NHS’s history, and the fact that we have come through the first peak without services being overwhelmed and being able to give expert care to everyone who needed it, is testament all our frontline and support staff.

“Now, as we celebrate the birthday of the NHS and look ahead to the next phase of our response, while in-person care will continue to be vital, the health service is embracing the best that new technology can offer us to meet the significant level of new and ongoing need.

“Rolling out Your COVID Recovery, alongside expanding and strengthening community health and care services, is another example of how the NHS must bring the old and the new together to create better and more convenient services for patients.”

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