A team from the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), has been working with Salford City Council’s Health Improvement Service to support people suffering from persistent symptoms after contracting Covid-19.
The Office of National Statistics estimates that 1.1 million people in the UK currently have long Covid which is the persistent symptoms that last for four weeks or longer after contracting the virus, such as breathlessness, fatigue, brain fog, pain and general decline in health and wellbeing.
Up until now the Salford team has been using the well-known Covid-19 Yorkshire Rehabilitation Scale (C19-YRS) to aid diagnosis and assessment of long Covid symptoms. This was initially being collated manually, with 24 patients being contacted each week since February.
Since then, there has been a call for more efficient systems to manage the growing long Covid caseload and standardise care across the NHS.
Now Salford patients will be able to download an app onto their mobile device and update their progress at varying stages of their recovery, allowing their clinician to make any changes to their care management plan.
The team at Salford Care Organisation says the feedback from patients so far has been really positive.
One patient, Sarah Bleasdale, 49, of Salford, who has been using the app for a few weeks, said:
“I found the app easy to download and very user friendly. I’m looking forward to using it more and intrigued as to the next step, hoping it will help me to get the right support and care.”
The app, developed by Elaros, in partnership with The University of Leeds NHS Trust, enables patients to self-report symptoms and the impact their symptoms are having on their daily health and wellbeing. NHS England and NHS Improvement have recommended use of the digital platform within national guidance for post-covid syndrome assessment clinics.
The app uses the latest scientific research and takes the patient through a series of questions to record their health status before contracting Covid, and what it is now. The information is displayed in radar plots and uploaded into the patient record.
Patients are asked to regularly update the app and over time it shows what progress they are making.
Salford Royal has been named as one of the ten clinical research sites in the UK, as part of a £3.4million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - funded project (The LOCOMOTION Study), led locally by Professor Nawar Bakerly in collaboration with researchers from the University of Leeds. This project which will see Elaros’ C-19 YRS platform adopted across all four nations. The project aims to help devise new ways of optimising the delivery of treatments and services for long Covid.