North Wales Long Covid Sufferers: “We need specialist services”
24/06/2021By: Heledd Roberts
The co-Chair of Senedd Long Covid Group says “pressure must be kept on Government” to develop services
Ynys Môn MS and spokesperson on Health and Care Rhun ap Iorwerth yesterday met with members of the group Long Covid North Wales, and heard again clearly why action is needed urgently to provide the care they need.
Members shared with Rhun their experiences of living with long covid and their frustration with the lack of specialist services available to them. They spoke of either facing difficulties with being referred to certain departments and when they were, of being passed between one department and another, with very little joined-up help.
Speaking after the meeting, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:
“I am grateful to members of Long Covid North Wales for sharing their experiences with me today. Strong common themes emerged regarding symptoms and experiences with trying to get assistance.
“We need to learn more about this condition, to listen to those who are suffering as a result of it, and to make sure that best practice is passed on between health boards as soon as possible.”
Welsh Government last week published plans for a new ‘patient pathway’ for long covid sufferers, putting GPs at the heart of the response to long covid. Rhun ap Iorwerth says he also looks forward to working with GPs in improving long covid diagnosis and treatment, but says there’s strong evidence of the need for specialist centres. He added:
“The Minister’s statement last week was an important first step to acknowledge the seriousness of the condition, but we now need to see those plans developing as we learn more and more about this condition. In particular, I’m keen to see the creation of specialist teams who can build up expertise.
“Many of those suffering from long covid worked in the health and care sector before contracting the virus and are desperate to be able to get back to do what they want to do, to care for others. That these people who put their own health second to the health of others during the pandemic are now not receiving the support they need – some even having to seek help privately – is a cause of great concern to me, and I will be keeping up the pressure on Welsh Government to develop services to help these and every person who suffers from long covid.”