Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's Long Covid service

This paper sets out the key elements that underpin our approach to care and support for people with long Covid.

Secondary care services

In some cases, a person's initial assessment within primary care may indicate that further investigation and assessment delivered in a specific speciality clinic or hospital setting is required.

We know that for some people, interacting with different systems and services can be challenging. We recognise that there is a need to support navigation of services, and we are committed to supporting NHS Boards to deliver a service that ensures a person's experience is as straightforward and effective as possible.

What you can expect:

  • Following a shared decision between you and your GP or care co-ordinator, you may be referred for further investigation and assessment in secondary care.
  • You will be provided with information on the potential benefits, harms and limitations of any investigations, to help you make an informed decision.
  • Absence of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (lateral flow, PCR, antigen or antibody) will not exclude you from referral for further investigations or secondary care input where required.
  • You may be referred to different specialities, or for more than one type of investigation, depending on your needs. One role of your care co-ordinator is to support this process and act as a central point of contact for you during this process.
  • Both you and your care co-ordinator will be informed of results and planned follow-up care.

Our commitments

  • We will support NHS Boards to develop and deliver a care co-ordination service model, which will enhance the way in which primary, community and secondary care services work together in order to meet the needs of people living with complex needs as a result of long COVID.
  • We will support NHS Boards to establish a service model for the delivery of clear, consistent and co-ordinated pathways across primary and secondary care to ensure that the person is at the centre of decision making and the pathway.
  • We will work with National Services Division to support NHS Boards to provide healthcare staff with a clear understanding of the services and infrastructure available in their areas to support investigations related to long COVID.
  • We will encourage the use of the SIGN Decision Support platform, which provides healthcare professionals with an integrated point of access to evidence-based information on supporting people with long COVID.

Pamela's story

Pamela has a mild chest condition – bronchiectasis – which meant she had to shield at the start of the pandemic. After contracting the virus in September 2020 she was admitted to hospital where she ended up in intensive care and intubated for almost three months.

By the time she was transferred to a respiratory ward on Hogmanay, she could not move and ultimately went to a Physical Disability Rehabilitation Unit for intensive physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

She also received intervention and oxygen therapy in a respiratory ward, and returned home with long-term oxygen at the beginning of June 2021, where she receives ongoing care from a Community Rehabilitation Team to support her to regain her independence, function and mobility.

"This last year has been a challenge, when I've had to let other people take care of me. But I'm blown away by everything I've been given by the NHS. They are just amazing. Some of them visit me weekly, some are at the end of the phone, they deliver my oxygen and really look after me."

* September 2021 – source NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde



Back to top