Physical and mental health long-Covid rehab programme launches in Ilford

Students get a Covid-19 test at a mass testing centre set up at the sports centre at St Andrews Univ

A free long-Covid rehabilitation programme has launched in Nuffield Health in Ilford. - Credit: PA

A rehabilitation programme to help people suffering with long-term effects of Covid-19 has launched in Ilford.

Nuffield Health, the UK's largest healthcare charity, has launched a free 12-week specialist recovery programme at the Fitness and Wellbeing Centre in Clements Road. 

Following a pilot run at four locations, the new programme will launch in Ilford.

It blends together physical therapy and mental health and aims to help the ever-growing number of people who are struggling with the lingering effects of Covid-19.

One in 10 people who are infected with Covid-19 will develop some form of long Covid, with symptoms including breathlessness, anxiety and chronic fatigue.

Patients who recover from severe Covid illnesses in hospital can be discharged with no formal recovery plan, which results in a longer recovery process and prolonged side effects. 

The first six weeks of the new programme, which is being rolled out in Ilford and a select few locations around the country, are delivered virtually and focus on managing sleep, fatigue and anxiety.

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The following six weeks are in-person treatments which will also consist of workouts, weekly support calls and access to a community of participants where they can share their experiences.

Rehabilitation specialist at Nuffield Health Ilford, Laura Roberts, said: "We know that many people living in Ilford have seen their quality of life seriously impacted by debilitating and lingering Covid-19 symptoms. 

"We are delighted to launch this programme and I would encourage everyone who feels like they are suffering in silence to get in touch."

The programme is expected to be expanded to more than 40 locations by May. 

Dr Davina Deniszczyc, medical director at Nuffield Health, said: “When Covid-19 hit, we quickly identified there was an unmet need for a growing number of patients who had been medically discharged but who still needed physical and emotional support.

"As the nation continues to recover, it is crucial that we remember that many patients are still struggling with symptoms and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to rollout our specialist recovery programme across the UK, so more people can access our services.”

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