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Long Covid projects across north and north-east to benefit from more than £420,000 funding

£3million has been awarded to long Covid projects across the country. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
£3million has been awarded to long Covid projects across the country. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

NHS services across the north and north-east are to benefit from a share of £3million to fund long Covid projects.

The Scottish Government funding has been split across NHS boards and will go towards improving the care and support available for people suffering with prolonged after effects of the virus.

This investment has been informed by patient experience across the NHS and will both fund current care and enable new support systems to be put in place.

New priorities identified by health boards include introducing care coordinator roles, supporting patient-centred assessment and additional capacity for community rehabilitation.

Long Covid is still relatively misunderstood and those who are suffering with it have called for more to be done about it.

Kate Stott, from Aberdeen, went to bed with a sore throat over two years ago and has struggled to leave the house much since. It is hoped this new funding will help people like her to recover.

Health boards in the north and north-east have been awarded the following:

NHS Grampian – £254,847

NHS Highland – £119,641

NHS Orkney – £14,716 (sum allocated, pending successful application)

NHS Shetland – £13,676

NHS Western Isles – £19,988

‘No ‘one-size fits all’ response’

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the funding was designed to ensure people can get care close to home after announcing it in a parliamentary debate.

“We’ve engaged directly with NHS boards, alongside clinical experts and those with lived experience, to identify the support that they need,” he said

“Given the range of symptoms which can be involved, we know there’s no ‘one-size fits all’ response and our approach is to support people with long Covid to access care and support in a setting that is appropriate and as close to their home as practicable.”

NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has also been awarded £370,000 to support a national programme of improvement work including analysis of the specific needs of children and young people living with long Covid.

Nine-year-old Anna Hendy from Westhill in Aberdeenshire has been battling long Covid for more than two years.

She and other representatives of the Long Covid Kids charity recently travelled to London to hand over a new support guide to the UK Government.

Funding for NHS Highland

Common symptoms of long Covid include fatigue, insomnia, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Theresa Summers, from Portlethen, kept a diary detailing her symptoms over the last two years and said long Covid has “wrecked” her life.

Mr Yousaf said that each health board would be able to use the funding however best served the region.

Linda Currie, associate AHP director at NHS Highland described how the funding would be used in the north: “Self-management will be offered and we will recruit occupational therapy and physiotherapy to support holistic interventions like fatigue management, vocational rehab, goal planning and dysfunctional breathing.

“This funding will support coordination of care across the relevant clinical teams and our partners.”

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