Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people living with Long COVID now stands at its highest level since data began to be collected, with as many as 1.7mn people, or 2.7 percent of the UK population reporting symptoms.
Though there is still lots to learn about Long Covid, its damaging impact on people’s health and their quality of life is clear.
The five Healthwatch organisations across North Central London (Healthwatch Barnet, Healthwatch Camden, Healthwatch Enfield, Healthwatch Haringey, and Healthwatch Islington) together investigated local people’s experiences of Long Covid. The aim was to identify any gaps in the help they are being offered. The information gathered can be used to support the development of services and systems to help local people manage their symptoms.
We spoke to over three hundred people, via online surveys, one-to-one interviews and community focus groups. They described the different ways Long Covid has affected them, physically, mentally and socially.
Dr Katie Coleman, Clinical Lead for Primary Care Network Development, says, “We would like to thank our Healthwatch colleagues for their work to produce such a comprehensive picture of the experience of people living with Long Covid in NCL. This report and its recommendations will help us to better understand what our residents need from us, and how we can improve access to services, experience of care, and clinical outcomes for everyone.”