The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has printed an up to date useful resource for neighborhood nurses caring for sufferers with lengthy Covid.
The up to date useful resource has changed a earlier model that was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Enchancment and printed by the QNI in December 2020, when lengthy Covid was rising as a severe consequence of the pandemic, however was nonetheless poorly understood.
“It takes a very long time to see any enchancment to lengthy Covid signs. It is not a fast repair”
In response to the most recent figures from the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS), an estimated 2.1 million folks within the UK had been experiencing self-reported signs of lengthy Covid as of 1 October 2022, almost 1 / 4 of whom have had the situation for not less than two years.
Lengthy Covid was mostly reported by folks aged 35-69, ladies, folks dwelling in additional disadvantaged areas, these working in social care, unemployed adults who weren’t on the lookout for work, and other people with one other well being situation or incapacity that reduces their mobility.
The commonest symptom of lengthy Covid was fatigue, reported by 70%. Different widespread signs embrace issue concentrating (45%), shortness of breath (42%) and muscle aches (42%), in accordance with the ONS figures.
The up to date QNI useful resource highlighted that lengthy Covid is finest thought-about as a multi-systemic situation and that nurses will want entry to a multi-disciplinary workforce to make sure sufferers with the situation are getting the fitting help.
It set out the eight important areas that nurses ought to deal with when supporting sufferers nonetheless struggling signs greater than 4 weeks after a Covid-19 an infection. These are: psychological well being, wellbeing, training, bodily well being, self-care, religious care, affected person funds and co-morbid circumstances.
The useful resource steered components that ought to be thought-about throughout nursing assessments of every of those areas, the forms of care and remedy approaches that might be applicable, and included hyperlinks to instruments that could be of use.
Queen’s Nurse Maggi Bradley is a basic follow nurse in West Lancashire who organized a video group clinic for sufferers with lengthy Covid.
She welcomed the up to date QNI useful resource and mentioned it might be related to many neighborhood nurses managing sufferers with this complicated situation that may require long run care.
“It takes a very long time to see any enchancment to lengthy Covid signs. It is not a fast repair,” she mentioned.
She added that it was necessary for basic follow nurses to have lengthy Covid in thoughts when seeing sufferers, as most of the signs, together with fatigue and mind fog, are much like different circumstances equivalent to menopause and dementia.
“Fairly often somebody will are available in with one thing that could be a lengthy Covid symptom, so it is actually necessary to consider it,” she mentioned. “You have to at all times issue it in as a part of your evaluation of the affected person.”
Ms Bradley, who’s a medical nurse lead for the Sefton Coaching Hub, added that it was necessary for pupil nurses to find out about lengthy Covid.
“That is going to be round for a very long time,” she mentioned.
Dr Alison Twycross, nurse educational and founding father of the group Lengthy Covid Nurses and Midwives UK, welcomed the brand new steering, and significantly its inclusion of kids and younger folks and the way it highlighted the function of nurses in assessing these with the situation and signposting them.
Nevertheless, she was “disenchanted” that the side of lengthy Covid the useful resource targeted on “first” was psychological well being.
“Whereas this will likely not have been intentional, it feeds into the notion amongst some elements of the well being service that lengthy Covid is primarily psychosomatic reasonably than psychological well being points being brought on by having an sickness that severely impacts on a regular basis life,” mentioned Dr Twycross, who has had lengthy Covid since 2020.
She confused that steering paperwork must also focus extra so on addressing underlying causes of signs, reasonably than simply on wellbeing and studying to stay with it.
The up to date QNI useful resource,titled Residing with Lengthy Covid A Group and Major Care Nursing Useful resource was launched on the QNI’s annual convention in October.