In light of post-COVID syndrome being confirmed as a recognised condition, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is encouraging people who are struggling in their recovery from COVID-19 to visit its new Keeping Me Well online rehabilitation resource.
The condition, also known as ‘Long COVID’, will be defined as signs and symptoms that develop during or following an infection consistent with COVID-19, which continue for more than 12 weeks, in guidelines that will be published by Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), NICE and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Launched in June to support the by Cardiff and Vale UHB COVID-19 Rehabilitation Model, the Keeping Me Well website features a range of information and guidance that people experiencing post-COVID syndrome can access to manage elements of their own rehabilitation.
It includes advice about dealing with lasting fatigue, breathlessness, ongoing pain and other common symptoms associated with the condition.
Visitors to the website can also access advice to support their physical and mental recovery from COVID-19, and videos demonstrating exercises and techniques that they can follow to support their recovery.
Dr Fiona Jenkins, Executive Director for Therapies and Health Sciences, said: “This formal recognition of post-COVID syndrome or ‘Long COVID’ reflects the growing numbers of people that we are seeing in the community who are struggling with ongoing symptoms after having the disease.
“Alongside working to establish a Long-COVID clinic in the coming weeks, the Keeping Me Well website is one of a number of ways that we are supporting these people, offering a raft of helpful information, advice and guidance that they can access at their own pace to support their rehabilitation and wellbeing.”
The website also features resources for people who have been less directly affected by COVID-19, including prehab advice for those whose treatment may have been delayed as a result of the pandemic, and public health rehabilitation information that everybody can follow to benefit their health and help keep themselves well.
Dr Jenkins added: “This pandemic has been a tough period for everybody, and there are large numbers of people in the community who haven’t been unwell with COVID-19 who are struggling, as a result of factors including treatments being delayed, people avoiding healthcare settings, and difficulty with socialising and remaining active during lockdown.
“The Keeping Me Well website sets out to support all of those people who have been affected by this terrible disease, but I would urge anybody who is concerned about their health or feels that they aren’t coping to contact their healthcare specialist.
“We are continuing to develop the website with the intention of it becoming an important rehabilitation tool into the future, far beyond the end of the pandemic.”