Service launched after studies suggest Covid can have long-term health impacts.
Two respiratory health charities have partnered up to launch a support hub for people affected by breathing difficulties after contracting Covid-19.
Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation are providing the online service after early studies suggested that people who were hospitalised with severe Covid-19 can go on to develop chronic respiratory symptoms.
The hub brings together the latest research and advice for patients, medical professionals and researchers to ensure those affected by the virus can access the best possible care.
It is also hoped that the hub will act as a collaborative space to enable ground-breaking research into the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on respiratory health. Both charities believe that this will be vital to ensure people who have had the virus are given comprehensive home care to support their recovery.
Alongside the hub, a helpline service has been launched on 0300 222 5942 where advice can be obtained about respiratory health.
Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said: “There are worrying signs that Covid may impact lung health longer term. We support thousands of people with breathing difficulties and understand the toll it takes on daily life.
“At a time when the NHS is under immense pressure, we want to ensure anyone who’s respiratory health is affected post-Covid can get the support they need. We also want to ensure that research and clinical services develop so we can effectively treat any new chronic breathlessness emerging from this crisis.”
The hub, which can be accessed at Post-Covid.org.uk, has already gained the support of academics, professional bodies and respiratory experts.
Professor Jon Bennett, chair of the board of trustees at the British Thoracic Society, said: “We support the launch of the Post-Covid hub, which will be critical in assessing what care people need post-Covid. Many people are suffering an acute severe lung injury with some ending up in intensive care, and we know that this can have an impact on people long term.
“We urgently need post-Covid care research and guidelines, to ensure we know what the best treatments are ongoing and that people can access appropriate support and maximise their recovery.”
Carol Stonham MBE, chair of the Primary Care Respiratory Society and senior NHS nurse practitioner (respiratory), added: “These are times of rapid change with many people recovering from sudden episodes of severe illness requiring critical care, then returning to community or primary care for ongoing management.
“Some will sustain ongoing lung damage, others psychological trauma. The sharing of resources allows clinicians to care for people safely and effectively wherever care needs to be delivered.”
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