Primary care and community-based support
For many people, their first point of contact with healthcare services will be the healthcare team based in their local GP surgery.
Primary care teams have expertise in managing uncertainty and are experienced at assessing people with a variety of symptoms and conditions, as can be the case with long COVID.
As part of their local communities and often with an extended knowledge of the person over a long period of time, primary care teams are ideally placed to provide holistic, person-centred care which focuses on what matters to the person.
What you can expect:
- An assessment of your symptoms by a member of your local primary care team. Within this assessment, your healthcare professional may;
- Take a medical history and ask you about your symptoms.
- Conduct a physical examination to assess your symptoms.
- Carry out tests to investigate your symptoms. This will also help them rule out other conditions which may be causing these.
- After your assessment, you will be able to discuss and agree what further information, assessment, support or rehabilitation you may need or benefit from, and how this will be delivered. This will vary depending on your own individual circumstances and needs. It could include;
- Advice on steps that you can take to help you feel more in control by self-managing your symptoms.
- Advice on third sector services which can help support your health and wellbeing as a result of the long-term effects of COVID-19.
- Further support from primary care, community and mental health services, including rehabilitation.
- Referral to investigation and assessment delivered in secondary care settings where necessary.
- We have established a £10 million 'Long COVID Support Fund' to strengthen local NHS services and care pathways for people with long COVID. This will:
- Bolster the capacity of existing NHS services which are providing support to people with long COVID.
- Support NHS Boards to develop and deliver a care co-ordination service model across the whole care pathway.
- Ensure NHS Scotland is resourced to respond appropriately to emerging needs in relation to long COVID in line with the latest clinical evidence, including around staff training and education needs, equipment and other resources.
- We have established an expert group to identify the capacity needs of NHS Boards and staff in delivering safe, effective and person-centred support for people with long COVID.
- We will continue to support future updates of the SIGN/
NICE/RCGP joint Guideline and encourage clinicians to use the Implementation Support Note which provides key direction on identifying, assessing and supporting people with long COVID as required in line with clinical evidence.
- Through our Primary Care Improvement Fund, we will continue to support and expand the range of professional roles in primary care that play a key role in the provision of services that can support people with long COVID.
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