Long COVID is having a serious impact on many people’s lives. Most people make a full recovery from COVID-19 but for some, the symptoms can last longer.

Help is available for anyone who has had COVID symptoms for longer than four weeks.

Contact your GP practice for an initial consultation and continue reading to find out about long COVID signs and symptoms and how to access treatment and support.

Long COVID signs and symptoms

If you have had COVID-19 symptoms for more than 12 weeks and they are not explained by an alternative diagnosis, this is called post-COVID-19 syndrome or ‘long COVID’.

Long COVID can be a cluster of symptoms, often overlapping, which may change over time and can affect any system within the body.

Common long COVID symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Psychological and cognitive symptoms, (including depression, anxiety, PTSD, ‘brain-fog’)

Accessing treatment and support

If you’ve had COVID symptoms for longer than four weeks and it is affecting you daily life, contact your GP practice. A healthcare professional can talk to you about the care and support you might need and give you advice on next steps.

After an initial conversation with a healthcare professional at your GP surgery, you may be referred the Long COVID Team if you need further support.

Referrals to the long COVID service (Post COVID Assessment and Support Service PCASS) are made based on a person’s ongoing symptoms and the impact on their life. Referrals are not based on the severity of the initial illness or on a positive COVID-19 test result. You do not need to show a positive test result to get help.

What happens next?

PCASS is a virtual service with face-to-face support as needed. Once the referral has been accepted, the team will contact you to confirm that you have been referred and give you some information to help while you wait.

The initial assessment will take place by video call or over the phone and will last for around one hour.

From there you may be enrolled on to one of the four pathways to help you to manage symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, psychological issues such as ‘brain fog’ and assistance for helping you to return to work.

Post COVID Assessment and Support Service information leaflet

or watch this short video for information:

Your COVID Recovery

Your COVID Recovery is an online platform containing information on recovering from COVID-19. Your COVID Recovery is here to support you and help you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

Symptoms that are not caused by long COVID

It is possible that your symptoms may not be caused by long COVID.

If your GP thinks that your symptoms are unrelated to COVID, and could be due to another condition, you may be offered other appropriate tests or referred to other specialist health professionals if necessary.

If you have mental health symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, you may be referred to additional local services for specialist mental health assessment and support.