A review of Wales' long-COVID programme has found it is helping to treat and manage the needs of people who have sought help for their symptoms.
The 5m Adferiad (Recovery) programme was set up to diagnose, rehabilitate and support those suffering from long-COVID in Wales.
All health boards in Wales provide integrated, multi-professional rehabilitation services for people with long-COVID and refer people to specialist care services wherever needed.
The review of the programme assessed information provided by health boards and feedback from almost 600 people who had accessed long-COVID services in Wales.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said:
In Wales we are committed to ensuring every person suffering from long- COVID receives support and care tailored to their particular needs and symptoms rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, as close to home as possible.
It's great to see the results of this review, which show people are receiving the right care they need for them and positive health outcomes are being maximised.
We know it affects everyone differently. By following the primary care model we have ensured people are treated by the most appropriate specialists for their symptoms. Not everyone suffering from long-COVID will need to see a specialist and this model will stop people waiting a long time for treatment.
We are still learning about long-COVID and this review will help us improve services further. We will continue to monitor the support required and adapt accordingly as we learn more to ensure services are available to all those who need support.
Every person who seeks help for long-COVID receives a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms so they can be treated for their specific concerns and receive tailored support.
The review of the Adferiad programme found:
- Of the 2,431 recorded cases of people with long-COVID via GP systems in Wales, 2,226 have accessed Adferiad services.
- Around 3.5% of people with long-COVID were referred to secondary care services.
- Less than 27% of people with long-COVID had been hospitalised with COVID-19.
- The COVID Recovery App has been an effective digital tool to help people manage their condition.
- The majority of people who took part in the review said they felt their concerns were listened to and they were supported to get the help and information they needed.
- More than 70% rated their experience of the service above average and more than 87% would recommend the service.
- People responding to the national patient evaluation, undertaken by CEDAR who used long-COVID services, reported an improvement in their health outcomes and were satisfied with their experience.
A long-COVID expert group has been set up to consider the impacts of the condition, treatments and referral methods.