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.

Evidence-based approach

We are committed to continually developing our understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19, using all of the information sources available to us, in order to ensure people affected are able to access the most appropriate support and care.

We have already achieved a great deal in supporting people with long COVID and we are committed to doing more, ensuring our approach is evidence-based and providing a service where people can access the support they need as locally and quickly as possible.

Research is key in improving our understanding of the effects of long COVID on people's physical and mental health in Scotland, and that is why the Scottish Government has provided funding of £2.5 million to support 9 research projects.

These studies are examining various aspects including the frequency, nature and impact of long COVID in the Scottish population, the longer-term impact of COVID in people living with diabetes, assessing cognitive symptoms after COVID-19 infection, and evaluating emerging models of rehabilitation.

This research activity will add significantly to the growing evidence base in addition to research being conducted across the UK and internationally. We will maintain effective relationships with our partners across the UK, to support the sharing of research and practice developments as they continue to emerge.

Accurate data is a vitally important tool in our response, and we have worked with the Royal College of GPs Scotland to support primary care teams in the recording of long-term effects of COVID-19 within clinical information systems. This data, along with work being carried out by the University of Edinburgh and Public Health Scotland will help to inform our understanding of the number of people diagnosed with long COVID, and their use of health services.

Alongside clinical evidence and data, the experience of people living with long COVID is critical in informing our understanding of the condition. We have worked closely with the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) to ensure that the views of people living with long term conditions, including long COVID, inform our approach as we remobilise health and social care services.

The third sector plays an invaluable role in supporting people to feel more equipped to deal with some of the day to day impacts of living with their conditions.

That is why we have invested over £460,000 to enable Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland to deliver its 'Long COVID Support Service' which further enhances the support being provided by NHS Scotland.

In addition, the Self-Management Fund, administered by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) on behalf of the Scottish Government is enabling the Thistle Foundation to develop their remote self-management programme, with a specific focus on supporting people living with long COVID.

There is still much to be done and this paper sets out our approach to supporting people with long COVID and our continued commitment to ensure each person experiencing long COVID receives the best support and care that is person-centred, equitable and accessible.



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