Staff from across the Trust delivering the Long Covid Service to patients across the county have been sharing learning and experiences nationally.
Lorna Gamberini, Voice Specialist with the Adult Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team has taken part in a national podcast with other speech and language therapists to discuss the necessity of SLTs being involved in patients’ longer term recovery.
“Across the country SLTs have been involved in patients’ COVID recovery following hospital admission, including intensive care. However, there are often long term voice, throat and swallowing side effects not just for hospitalised patients, but also for people who were initially less severely ill. The Long Covid Service model we have at NCIC, with close multidisciplinary working to allow a joint approach to patient care and timely access to the appropriate health professionals, was much admired by the other participants in the podcast.”
Dr Lizzie Davey, a Clinical Psychologist working in the NCIC long covid team, is delivering a session highlighting the importance of psychology in the long COVID journey as part of a national study day. She said:
“Having input from Psychology is a really important part of a person’s long covid journey. Some of the effects of long covid are extremely difficult and with any long term illness can take time to adjust to. Having the psychology team as part of the patient journey from the beginning means that as a multi-disciplinary team we understand the psychological needs of patients and that there is a pathway there to easily flag up any concerns and access support for those needs.”
The Long COVID Service at NCIC is a truly multi-disciplinary approach with access to expertise from across a range of services.
Dr Matthew Lane, respiratory consultant explained why this is important: “COVID-19 is a virus that we are still learning so much about and that goes for the long term effects of it. Being able to share expertise in this way means that as professionals we are all learning together but also that we are able to support patients with the right treatment at the right time. Everyone is affected by this virus in different ways and there is no one size fits all. In Cumbria we are incredibly proud of the way we have managed to develop a truly multi –disciplinary approach to treating people with long covid.”
Barbara McCready Advanced Specialist Physiotherapist in the Respiratory Physiotherapy team said: “I’m so proud of everyone’s dedication to help those with Long COVID symptoms and that we are learning so much from each other. We are a small team and doing things very differently from other Long COVID Services. Being involved in these national learning programmes shows that we are leading the way and that other teams recognise the benefits of the MDT model. I really think it is such an excellent demonstration of collaboration under difficult and changing circumstances.”