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Long Covid Funding for NHS Orkney

NHS Orkney is to receive £14,716 to support services which deal with the effects of Long Covid.

A total of £3,000,000 is being distributed by the Scottish Government to Health Boards across Scotland from the Covid Support Fund.

Symptoms of long COVID

The most common symptoms of long COVID are:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • feeling short of breath
  • loss of smell
  • muscle aches

However, there are lots of symptoms you can have after a COVID-19 infection, including:

  • problems with your memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • chest pain or tightness
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

There are no clear statistics on how many people are suffering long lasting effects of the Covid virus. In June 2021 the estimate was 2 million in England.

As of 5 March 2023, an estimated 1.9 million people in the UK were experiencing self-reported long Covid. Of those people:

  • 92% had been experiencing long Covid symptoms for at least 3 months
  • 69% had been experiencing long Covid symptoms for at least a year
  • 41% had been experiencing long Covid symptoms for at least two years.

The Scottish Health Survey 2021 – volume 1: main report, published in November 2022 reported that “5% of all adults reported having long COVID” , in 2021.

For 1% of those people, Long Covid had limited their activities ‘a lot’.

The Office of National Statistics published data in July 2023 which stated:

Ten most frequent symptoms reported by those experiencing self-reported long COVID

The restrictions may have been lifted in Scotland but for many people contracting Covid has had serious consequences for their health and wellbeing – of both physical and mental health. It has affected their home life and their work life. With such poor and scarce data being collected on long Covid extra funding is essential to support those dealing with the condition and with the impact it continues to have on NHS Services.

Fiona Grahame

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