Keele Professor helping to raise awareness of ‘Long Covid'

A Keele University Professor has co-authored a new training module to help GPs understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 on patients.

Although Covid-19 is a relatively brief and mild illness for most people, the medical community is becoming increasingly aware of so-called “Long Covid” which has a much longer debilitating effect on people’s lives, with some people suffering from long-term effects following a Covid-19 infection, with symptoms including lasting fatigue, persistent pain and breathlessness.

According to the NHS, some estimates suggest that 10% of people who have had a Covid-19 infection may still be experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection, and perhaps 60,000 people could be suffering from Long-Covid symptoms after more than three months.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has developed a new training module for GPs to help them to identify and manage people suffering from the condition.

The module has been co-written by Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University, and forms part of the RCGP’s “Recovery from Covid” course, which encourages doctors to reflect on how they can support patients in times of uncertain evidence.

Professor Chew-Graham said: “As a GP, I became aware of patients presenting in late spring 2020 with symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, rashes and ‘brain fog’. I then conducted a qualitative study, interviewing people with long-Covid recruited using social media. I worked with colleagues at RCGP and with a patient with long-COVID to develop the learning module.

“It is vital that GPs recognise this condition and offer support, investigation and ongoing care.”