In partnership with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) and Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), we propose to establish a virtual Covid Rehabilitation Clinic to support ‘Long-Haul’ recovery of Covid-19 in the community.
The clinic would translate lessons from elite sport during Covid-19, to inform guidance provided locally to people in communities. Specifically, in terms of returning to or increasing physical activity.
What are the lasting effects of Covid-19?
Community data has highlighted the need for support for people recovering from Covid-19.
The virus is having lasting effects on physical and mental health for tens of thousands of people.
For some, symptoms are reported to persist beyond 70 days, accompanied by chronic fatigue, low oxygen levels, loss of balance, general weakness, chest pain and blood clots - in some cases despite repeated negative tests.
Fear and anxiety stems from the unknown recovery timescale, a pressure to return to normal life quickly, and managing healthy return to the pressures of work mean people are in desperate need of help.
Who is affected by long Covid?
Worryingly, there is evidence that more vulnerable populations and those in areas of deprivation are worst affected by Covid-19 - groups that are also traditionally less active. There is a need therefore to ensure healthcare and community structures support these groups to ensure health disparities and physical inactivity gaps do not widen further.
We acknowledge that there is a huge effort underway regionally and nationally to support people who have been affected directly or indirectly by Covid-19. Yet health and care services are facing a huge increase in demand for high-quality community-based rehabilitation as they seek to support people with post-Covid disability.
The challenge is that we simply do not know what to promote in terms of rehab due to the novelty of the illness, leaving community organisations- including sport and physical activity sectors - unsure of what to advise.
Our virtual clinic will aim to address this shortfall and provide specialist advice about this novel illness.
Find out more about the virtual clinic, including information how you could get involved by visiting the Darnall Wellbeing website