Support After Covid Study – Draft Recommendations

Recommendations

  1. There should be international recognition of the longer-term experiences of people who have had Covid-19 and agreed terminology for this.

  2. People should not experience discrimination in relation to diagnosis of longer-term conditions relating to Covid-19, or relating to service provision, based on whether they have had a formal diagnosis based on a positive Covid-19 diagnostic or antibody test result, whether they were in hospital due to Covid-10, or whether they were diagnosed with severe illness. This should be carefully considered in referral protocols and communications from services.

  3. National guidelines should be developed in collaboration with people who have experienced Covid-19, regarding the short and long-term implications of Covid-19 to support policy and service provision in health, social care, community development and third sector organisations.

  4. National guidelines should be developed in collaboration with people who have experienced Covid-19 to support workplaces in providing support for flexible and phased return to work after Covid-19 with reasonable adjustments in place.

  5. It would be beneficial to develop a central and interactive online resource that is easy for people to locate which has information, guidance and signposting for people who have had Covid-19 and people who are supporting them. This should include self-help information on coping strategies and should be developed in collaboration with people who have varied experiences of Covid-19.

  6. It would be beneficial for people with greater need for support, and/or who find it difficult to interact with online support, to have access to telephone or other remote coaching and signposting to support them in accessing financial, community and/or social support.

  7. It would be beneficial for people to receive person-centred and responsive support by local health services with excellent communication and timely referral for investigations and specialist support where required for people who think they have physical and/or mental health needs that relate to Covid-19. Ideally this would be through the provision of multidisciplinary Covid Clinics and local plans should be coordinated by a named responsible person.

  8. People should receive support while they recover when needed in relation to self-care, domestic tasks, and caring responsibilities, with guidance and support for decontamination of the self-isolation space.

  9. People should be able to access specialist talking and therapy services (through health and social services and/or the Third Sector) to cope with loss, isolation, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms following illness and isolation.

  10. People should be able to access rehabilitation and step-down or intermediate care services to help them with challenges such as neurological symptoms, fatigue, pain, walking, difficulty with self-care and home care, and to build their confidence and knowledge of what is safe when returning to physical activity and exercise. This should include specialist nursing, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy as appropriate.

  11. People should be able to access exercise and health promotion professionals who can support their safe return to, and progression of physical activity and exercise participation, and facilitate use of local services and amenities, in order to support recovery of physical and mental health.

  12. There should be support for the development and ongoing provision of a network of local and national support groups for people who are recovering from Covid-19

  13. There should be careful consideration of whether people who are recovering from Covid-19 should be included in any future list of people who need to ‘shield.’

  14. The needs of people after Covid-19 and relevant strategies and interventions should be included in the education of people studying to enter professions involved in supporting people after Covid-19 and in the continuing professional development of people who are working in such professions.

  15. There should be further research into diverse short-term and long-term experiences of Covid-19 and cross-sector, multi-disciplinary approaches to supporting recovery – this should actively involve people with varied experiences of Covid-19.